The way of exoteric religion is to progressively replace egoism by submission to the will of God. Its four cardinal demands are faith, love, humility, and good deeds. In so far as they are complied with, they effectively bring a man towards Self-realization, even though he does not consciously envisage this. True, the Goal is not likely to be attained in this lifetime, but in God’s patience a lifetime is very little. Faith strengthens the intuitional conviction of the reality of God or the Self. Humility, its counterpart, weakens the belief in the ego and lessens the importance attached to it. Love strives to surrender the ego to God and its welfare to others. Good deeds deny egoism in practice and are alike the fruit and proof of love and humility.
To realize self as universal is the equivalent of immortality - a timeless state. The empirical ego then ceases like a ripple on the ocean.
Water flows continually in the ocean but the ocean is never disturbed: desire flows into the mind of the seer but he is never disturbed. The seer knows peace: the man who stirs up his own lusts can never know peace. He knows peace who has forgotten desire. He lives without craving: free from ego, free from pride.
The first and last lesson of Yoga is the attitude of mind and heart. The aim of Yoga is to unite mind, body, spirit. The reward of yoga practice is the conversion of physical energy into mind power. The practices give a definite sense of control and raise the levels of consciousness awareness. These practices are not to be done competitively, to exhibit to one's friends, to expand the ego. While each of us, according to our temperament, must find the best mental approach, it should be one of self-surrender. Quiet, but joyful. Concentrated. Never strained. Outer control of the body is a means of regulating the inner functioning.
When we go beyond the ego and experience the sudden revelation that absolutely nothing is lacking, then immediately the faith is there to jump. The leap itself is the revelation, the revelation is the leap.
The whole world is created from Mind. How we perceive it is the whole story. If we see everything from our ego-centered view, everything is too much to handle. Always we feel limited, unable to cope with situations. We feel small, helpless, and out of control. If we go beyond the egoistic view of the self as separate, then we can enjoy a more magnanimous, panoramic perspective that we call Limitless Mind (dai shin), infinite capacity and complete faith in things just the way they are. It all depends on how we choose to view life. Dropping the ego-centered self we discover the real self, which is none other than no fixed self, completely open to each moment of life.
[Zen] is not a kind of “self-actualization,” an expansion of the limited, isolated Me, of the empirical ego. Neither is it a regression, a return into that vegetative ooze of Oneness, before we became aware of our differentiation as separate egos. On the contrary, the Zen experience is the overcoming of the hallucination that the Me is the valid center of observation of the universe. It is a momentary, radical turnabout, a direct perception of and insight into the presence, into the transiency, the finitude that I share with all beings.
Wisdom is the intuitive knowledge of the mind of love and clarity that lies beneath one's ego-driven anxieties and aggressions. Meditation is going into the mind to see this for yourself - over and over again, until it becomes the mind you live in.
Perception is a mirror, not a fact... The ego does everything it can to prevent us from understanding that our thoughts, not the outside world, cause what we see and experience, and that the world we experience is the effect of our own thoughts.
Hell is the place of people who could not yield their ego system to allow the grace of a transpersonal power to move them.
The world of sight is still limitless. It is the artist who limits vision to the cramped dimensions of his own ego.
Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.
Reality is simply the loss of ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. It will automatically vanish and reality will shine forth by itself.
It is ignorance that causes us to identify ourselves with the body, the ego, the senses, or anything that is not the Atman. He is a wise man who overcomes this ignorance by devotion to the Atman.
There never is any duality. The principle of awareness, Atman, never engages in any activity, although from this pure principle alone, the luminous, transparent, insubstantial universe spontaneously unfolds. When the practitioner is consciously identified, not with any expression of awareness but with the living principle of awareness... there remains no sense of intrinsic involvement with polarities such as good and evil, virtue and vice, self and other, existence and nonexistence. However, when one identifies with activity rather than with principle, manifesting an ego that claims to generate various chains of events, then the tensions between polar opposites split that person’s consciousness, creating various forms of obvious and subtle suffering.
Awakening is not possible so long as the mind is constantly distracted from Truth by remaining habitually egocentric, by instinctively seeking personal gratification. Divine Grace, the healing and illuminating energy that rains down ceaselessly upon the human mind, heart, and soul, cannot be absorbed or assimilated by the high, rocky hill of personal interest and personal importance. This precious, life-giving water runs off the high ground of ego, without ever penetrating its hard, barren soil.
Soul usually thwarts the ego at every step.
Man is like an island, a circle within circles. Man is separated from these outer circles by his mind, his beliefs, and the limitations put upon him by a life away from the Earth. The circle of man, the island of self, is the place of logic, the ‘I,’ the ego, and the physical self. That is the island that man has chosen to live within today, and in doing so he has created a prison for himself. The walls of the island prison are thick, made up of doubts, logic and lack of belief. His isolation from his greater circles of self is suffocating and prevents him from seeing life clearly and purely. It is a world of ignorance where the flesh is the only reality, the only god... Beyond man’s island of ego, his prison, lies the world of the spirit-that-moves-in-all-things, the force that is found in all things. It is a world that communicates to all entities of Creation and touches the creator. It is a circle of life that houses all man’s instinct, his deepest memory, his power to control his body and mind, and a bridge that helps man transcend flesh. It is a world that expands man’s universe and helps him to fuse himself to the earth. Most of all, it is a world that brings man to his higher self and to spiritual rapture.
If we want to know what happiness is we must seek it, not as if it were a part of gold at the end of the rainbow, but among human beings who are living richly and fully the good life. If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double Dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar gold button that has rolled under the cupboard in his bed room. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living 24 crowded hours of the day. If you live only for yourself you are always an immediate danger of being bored to death with the repetition of your own views and interests. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen. If your ambition has the momentum of an express train at full speed, if you can no longer stop your mad rush for glory, power, or intellectual supremacy, try to divert your energies into socially useful channels before it is too late.
For those who seek the larger happiness and greater effectiveness open to human beings there can be but one philosophy of life, a philosophy of constructive altruism. The truly happy man is always a fighting optimist. Optimism includes not only altruism but also social responsibility, social courage and objectivity. The good life demands a working philosophy as an orientating map of conduct. This is the golden way of life. This is the satisfying life. This is the way to be happy though human.
No one has learned the meaning of life until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow men.