Once we identified the ego and started a process of active observation and awareness, recognizing how it works, how it gets activated, what it’s methods to keep its grip. We’ll notice the resistance will come up. When you bring light in, when you bring awareness you are taking away “power” and you are bringing back to you.
By this point in our process, I think it’s starting to become really clear what the ego is and how it acts. This awareness is already a HUGE transformation, that will impact your life, your relationships, your work, everything. You are reclaiming your power, you are getting closer and closer to your true Self (the big one), the Being, but the ego will try and resist this process.
What is the resistance?
THE EGO resists what it is, resists the present moment, the stillness, the non-judgment, non-labeling, non-attachment concepts we have discussed previously.
If we start taking action upon these concepts, the ego, will “freak out". All it wants is to be fixed, no changes. In a practical way, when we resist, when we “wish things were different”, when we spend time thinking about it, talking about it, we spend an enormous amount of energy trying to “fight” against something that is natural: TRANSITIONS, PROCESSES, IMPERMANENCE. Deep down we (the ego) want to feel the comfort of having control, we want to feel the comfort of everyone doing what we think is right.
In the control, we have the impression that things will go our way. The ego way, according with our beliefs, our stories, our inner realities. And when it doesn’t, we get really frustrated, we lose our energy, we lose our power. We are more inclined to fall back again into the patterns, the subconscious state and hang in there for another while.
The resistance brings contraction, think of it happening over and over again after a period of time, can you get an idea of how much time we spend in this state? And how this starts to shape how life unfolds?
Here’s where the turning point happens: We gathered some information through our work of observation and recognition, now we have to “convince” ourselves, that the “payoff” for taking down the walls, coming out THE BOX is much higher than staying safe, limited, self-righteous, even if this brings us some discomfort and suffering. When we know why the ego resists, why it wants to keep us inside THE BOX implies we need to have enough tools to help us overcome the resistance. And in order to work with resistance and to continue to expand our awareness, we start to develop some qualities, see bellow:
Learning to stay
Ok, now is when I need to start talking about meditation.
Sitting meditation is the tool to help us do this work. Meditation practice gives us this space to notice our internal dialogues, gives us the pause in between all the mental thinking. Once we start to cultivate this, we start to experiment with it outside of the sitting meditation practice, supporting the process of awareness we are taking on. In the meditation practice we experience how we get closer and closer to the Self, the Being, we experience moments that feel simple, direct, uncluttered.
We meditate not to feel good. To have this as a goal is to be set up for failure. We meditate not to try and fix us. We meditate to meet ourselves where we are, working with the information that we have and moving from there. And that’s where the tricky part is, especially when we are leaning towards self-improvement, the more we are getting into all of this with the idea of fixing, the more resistance we’ll end up creating, because we are working with the idea of wishing things to be different, with the limiting idea that “I’m not good enough”or “I should be better” - we are judging and that’s not what we are trying to do here. Pema Chodron says that it's only when we relax with ourselves that meditation becomes a transformative process. Only when we relate with ourselves without moralizing, without harshness, without deception, can we let go of harmful parts, and can we let go of resistance.
This quality we cultivate through our meditation practice and through this work of awareness and process of the EGO. We are sending the message to the mind, that no matter what happens, we are staying with our experience. We can let the EGO use the methods we discussed previously, but now that we are aware of it, we can choose to be with the experience just as it is. This is really a lot of work, important work, don’t underestimate the power of the EGO to run away from our experience for security, for quick instance illusionary comfort. Remember what we discussed above, the ego is always looking for a good pay off, gratification. So, if this experience feels somehow less impressive than it’s own methods, we need to have a lot of courage to stand our ground. When we actually do it, we also get so much more confident, much more magnetic and that like ripple effect impact your life and your relationship with it.
It will feel, at some point, with all this work that we are regressing rather than awakening or expanding. All that was inside THE BOX is coming out, it’s being released, actively observed so it’s normal to assume that it might feel a little ungrounding at times.
We are just shining light where was covered before. It doesn’t mean we are creating more of it.
We are now having the clarity to see when the EGO gets activated, the mental thinking that comes with it, the beliefs, the external factors that rely on.
However we are cultivating the capacity to stay without resistance and courage we also have clarity to see in us the parts that have the confidence, the compassion, the love, the connection. It’s a process! But is a more expansive process, with more space and openness.
It’s like we are cleaning the lenses that were blurry for a long time, to see clear again.
Journal after the guided meditation