Oakville Zen Meditation

494 Ego: when our ego is wounded March 10th 24

One of the main jobs of our ego is self-defense.

When someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names using any means either publicly, privately, or behind your back your ego could explode…… BOOM!

We tend to retaliate, defend, and justify ourselves almost automatically while being

criticized. It is happening all the time.

To fight back is okay for the ego but can be very detrimental for both belligerents because it could make

The situation is more emotional, and more dangerous with unpredictable consequences including irreversible ones even if we are right. Think about your previous experiences.

What to do?

“Do nothing” says Thich Nhat Hanh before overreacting. Ask yourself this question while your emotional reaction is growing:   “Is it my overreacting ego being too excited, and for what purpose?”                                                                                                                       

Initially, you will feel very uncomfortable, becoming a coward, even shrinking.

Allow your ego-driven self-image to suffer temporally.

Then, in the quietness of your non-reaction, become mindful of the inner spaciousness of your genuine self, and realize, that, in fact, nothing real and concrete has been wounded.

You have not been diminished at all you have expanded.

    Instead of becoming “ less”, you become “more” even if the ego loses some of its grips.

Final words:

Because overreacting is an emotional reaction, it is quite challenging  to apply this teaching all the time, 

but with practice, this new skill will prevail for the benefit of all, including learning something from these challenging societal experiences. 

Your non-reaction in the face of criticism is an integral part of mind control taught by many Zen teachers including Thich Nhat Hanh THANKS