If you’re like me, you probably wish the world were more peaceful; a place where equality and fairness would prevail; where conflicts could be resolved without violence or a system of legalized revenge; where human beings would support each other rather than struggle for power in personal and collective ways. One can only dream, right? The world is the world is the world… It has to go through its own cycles and karmic dynamics, but you can contribute your own peaceful qualities to the collective mind.
The external peace you yearn for starts by creating peace within yourself and with those around you. This requires a conscious effort, because you have an ego, and one of the main qualities of ego is attachment. Without attachment you wouldn’t think of a house as your house or another person as your partner or your child, or a piece of land as your country, and so on. The purpose of this ego is to let you have individualized experiences in the material world, but by definition ego is self-centered, self-important.
Your attachments color your perception to maintain the illusion of being separate—separate from others and separate from Divine Consciousness, which is where all things emerge from and thus really belong to. Since attachment is a quality of ego, dissolving ego entails letting go of attachments; this is the way to recover your true nature—which is peace, love, freedom, and light—and eventually the perception of Oneness connecting everything and everyone.
Reclaiming your peaceful essence can be tricky, for as soon as you get attached to something the desire to own it arises in your mind as well. If the fulfillment of your desire is jeopardized or threatened in any way, the fear of losing it gets triggered, which then gives way to anger. You could say that anger is a defense mechanism of the ego-mind that results when fear invades your perception; it creates confusion, making you forget your true nature as you identify with your desire, the object of your desire, and the fear of not fulfilling your desire.
Attachment Yields Desire, Fear and Anger
The world is the collective ego; everything in it is ego, and this is why it is mainly ruled by greed, possessiveness, and the urge for instant gratification. So the more you forget your true nature, by allowing attachments and fear color your life-movie, the more attached to the material world you become. But attachment is not exclusive to material things or people; you also get attached to your thoughts, emotions, expectations, illusions, ideals, principles, beliefs, perception, experiences, and yes, even suffering if it satisfies some unconscious desire or self-interest.
In truth, this is where it all starts: in what you feed or relinquish in yourself, and the choices you make as a result. In other words, where you invest you mental, emotional, creative, and physical energy. Is it pleasing and taking care of others but silently resenting them? Is it doing things to build a self-image of being a good/smart/beautiful/successful person? Is it reading books and attending workshops to feed a spiritualized ego? Although your intentions are good, these actions create only a temporary sense of peace, because they still belong to ego.
Remember, ego is self-centered and it makes you the center of attention in both positive and negative ways; whether you’re self-conscious or insecure and feel like a victim, or feel entitled to other people’s appreciation and support, once you recognize that it’s all ego you’ll see that it really doesn’t serve you at all. In fact, it makes your life much harder, creating self-consciousness and doubts to keep you stuck, or instigating conflicts with others to rob you of joy.
If inner peace is not your main goal in life, you’ll likely be bouncing from one experience to another, feeling discontented and dissatisfied, no matter how successful or accomplished you may be. Why? Because you’ll remain separated from your divine nature. Now, even if you’re not seeking enlightenment yet, since you still have ambitions and desires to fulfill, the more you glimpse into Divine Consciousness within you, the more empowering anything you do becomes, because you do it with greater detachment—and therefore greater inner peace.
But this requires quieting the mind, so here are 3 steps that can help you get there:
1. Meditate every single day. Yep, there’s no better tool to quiet the ego-mind that silent meditation. Most people get started with guided meditations, but try to switch to a silent meditation technique that focuses your attention on your breathing. Now, don’t get discouraged, meditation takes many years of practice; in fact, you’ll spend most of your time simply trying to meditate, but eventually the thoughts subside and you get to experience greater peace as the ego-mind dissolves. Deep meditation is not a state of relaxation where you feel good and have visions; it’s the absolute absence of mind where the I-sense disappears: there’s no more I, me, mine, or any thoughts for that matter.
2. Question your thoughts without judging. Self-awareness is essential to live a mindful life, that is, a life not ruled by ego and unconscious impulses. Observing your thoughts and desires without judging them as good or bad, positive or negative, allows you to know yourself and drop what doesn’t serve your quest toward peace: a victim-like or righteous or demanding or ‘perfect’ self-image. If you feel triggered in any way (see Do You Know Your Emotional Triggers?), watch the energy behind your impulses without following them, then be completely honest and ask, what is really motivating this? Does it take me closer to the peace I want or further away from it? If you bring the silent meditation technique into your daily life—not following thoughts and impulses, but focusing on your breathing and the present moment—you’ll develop detachment, emotional freedom, and in time also spiritual freedom.
3. Relinquish control and surrender to the Divine within. If you remind yourself that both internal and external experiences are driven by the ego-mind and that your attachment to them separates you from your true nature, you can relinquish the need to control life, to discover something deeper within you—the spiritual forces that guide and support you all the way. In time you’ll realize that nothing is real but Divine Consciousness or God and that nothing really belongs to you (as the ego wants you to believe). You are a vehicle of energy, a divine vessel if you will, so the closer you keep your mind to Divine Consciousness, with humility and gratitude, the happier and more peaceful you will be.
You need spiritual tools and new habits of thought and perception to take these steps consistently, because the ego-mind will attempt to stall and stop your process every step of the way, creating resistance, dramas, rebelliousness, and self-defeating emotions. Ego is extremely attached to its self-importance and sense of control, so contact me today to receive guidance and support on your journey of transformation, to shift from the trappings of the mind to the discovery of your true Self.
© 2017 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.