Daily Wisdom / Zen

Liberation from the Petty Ego

book coverZen training continues endlessly. The mean or petty ego, which was thought to have been disposed of, is found once again to be secretly creeping back into one’s mind. The long, chronic habit of consciousness has implanted evil impulses so firmly in man’s mind that they haunt us perpetually, and it is impossible for us to inhibit them before they appear. However, the longer we train ourselves, the more we are liberated from the petty ego. When the petty ego appears, do not be concerned with it. Simply ignore it. When an evil thought strikes you, acknowledge it honestly, saying, “Such and such an evil thought has occurred in me,” and then drop it. The Zen saying goes, “The occurrence of an evil thought is a malady; not to continue it is the remedy.”

From Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy by Katsuki Sekida, page 35

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