Renounce the Ego

Renounce the Ego

Date of Advice:
November 2016
Date Posted:
January 2017

Advice on the shortcomings of the self-cherishing thought and the benefits of cherishing others. Rinpoche gave this advice to one student and said it is applicable to anyone.

If you are my student, then you must do the morning motivation, The Method to Transform a Suffering Life into Happiness (Including Enlightenment). Do not just read the words, but relate them to your life. You must recite these words and if after reciting the words your mind doesn’t change, then you are not doing it [correctly.]

In addition, I want you to recite these two verses as a dedication and to memorize them:

Whenever someone has an angry or devotional thought arise
Just by looking at me,
May that attitude alone become a cause that always
Accomplishes all the temporary and ultimate purposes of that being.

Whenever others criticize me with their speech,
Harm me with their bodies,
Or likewise insult me behind my back,
May all of them be fortunate to achieve great enlightenment.

You must recite these two verses and if these don’t change your mind, then you are not thinking about the meaning. Therefore, use these two verses often as your dedication. This is most important to recite; it’s good to recite and to remember by heart.

You need to remember that you yourself have harmed numberless sentient beings from beginningless rebirths numberless times. You have given every kind of harm numberless times to the numberless sentient beings. Now what you experience—the way others harm you, the way they treat you, anything unpleasant—is the result of your negative karma. So you have to recognize the shortcomings of your self-cherishing thought.

As the Kadampa geshe says:

Put all the blame to one. Toward others, meditate on their kindness.

Put all the blame to one—this is the self-cherishing thought. Even if someone sees you and dislikes you, thinks you are bad, or if anyone criticizes you or kicks you out of a center and so on, think it is the result of past karma, because you harmed others, numberless sentient beings, numberless times from beginningless rebirth.

Anything unpleasant you receive back is the result of your bad karma, your self-cherishing thought. This is what is to be abandoned in order to actualize bodhicitta.

In my morning motivation, it mentions, May I be used by sentient beings. This means you dedicate yourself to be the servant of sentient beings, to be totally used by sentient beings. This is what makes you achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible. Otherwise if you have too much ego, then you go to hell. If that is what you want, if you want that, then it is a totally different situation; if you would like to go to hell. But if you don’t like to go to hell, then you need to change the mind, to renounce the ego.

As the Kadampa geshe mentions, the self-cherishing thought is something to be thrown away—a long distance—immediately. But others are to be taken into your heart and cherished immediately.

With much love and prayers...