How To Practice Ego Death

To be an ordinary person does not necessarily mean that you find beauty in ordinary things. Many ordinary, well-adjusted people are often deluded and maladjusted. Being well-adjusted by 2015 standards is no badge of honor; it consists primarily of adhering to the codes and frameworks of a very bizarre and unruly world. Just because you can work well within chaos does not mean you embrace chaos. Just because you get along with everyone does not mean you are living a mindful life.

To be ordinary is not the goal. There is no goal. Instead, in relinquishing goals, we can try to find beauty where ordinary present-day thinking overlooks beauty. We can choose not to be unhealthy, not to spend money recklessly, not to toil over false aspirations, and not to pretend that attachment means love. You become extraordinary through abandoning comparisons to others and, most importantly, by not trying to be extraordinary.

Simply put, this just means “do your own thing”. If I step back and take a look at my own life, I can pinpoint where I lack mindfulness, where I am deluded, where I act in a stupid and callous way. And only in stepping back can I address these things. That’s what “mindfulness” means, even if it is difficult at times. Once I address my ego and realize that it is a false construction, I can plunge back into life with a (hopefully) more grounded understanding of how reality works. The key is not to hold onto these “truths” but to constantly be present. In lacking belief, you allow yourself the freedom to amend your personal truths on a daily basis.

These “truths” are not absolute. They may not apply to other people. But in living with your natural inclinations and not being too susceptible to the opinions or ideas of others or yourself, you can find a certain peace. This requires dropping all criticisms of oneself and others. It requires not holding on to anything.

Living in this manner is a profound discomfort for most people, since we are all relatively accustomed to the ebbs and flows of a heavily attached life. But to practice breaking out of that life of suffering and attachment is a valuable exercise. You may never exit it completely, but in the simple act of recognizing your bondage you begin to free yourself.

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