'Ego is the thief of joy.' This isn't a new realization for most of us. In fact it's a point of confusion, because oddly no matter what we do, we're rarely sustainably satisfied or happy. We're usually caught up in egoAi's grievances, anxieties, depression, mental and emotional litigation over the latest drama that captured our attention, time and energy.
Ego, like a skilled thief, excels in intentionality, effort, focus, and creativity. It often thrives unnoticed, subtly orchestrating our entanglement in its deceptions.
Why does the ego exert such immense effort? It's because ego can't find its reflection in our happiness, because it's seamless and reflectionless. Instead, it mirrors itself in our suffering, our disappointments, our anxieties, and our depressions -- all of which, ironically, belong to it. The suffering is not ours.
Regaining conscious contact with our true selves from the hallucinations of ego's VR Headset of thought requires skills of a master thief. A Tibetan Lama once told me, 'people are often caught in the illusion that we can be separated from our authentic nature, (addiction mind manifesting in various ways) which is a thief of joy. Acting against our True nature, suffering is unavoidable. Now, practice diligently in stealing awakening, back from the master thief ego. You are awakening itself, so it shouldn't be very hard.'
Just as a thief must be cautious and intentional to evade capture, so must we be in meditation. We strive not to be captured and imprisoned by ego's greed, hatred, and delusion, and its self-referential nature born through our bodies and empowered by our actions. We must apply focus and effort to 'steal' awakening, utilizing our capacities for generosity, patience, commitment, determination, attentiveness, and wisdom. These are the tools for our spiritual heist, allowing us to awaken to our authentic selves.
Some skills, it turns out, are indeed transferable to the path of awakening when applied with mindful compassion and our values. This journey invites us to practice with the awareness, or at least the possibility, that we are Buddha -- embodying the Universal Identity of Loving Presence through our body, speech, and awareness.
一Evolve Love with L/O/V/E