34. It is important for me to develop self-confidence and inner strength. But as long as I am egocentric it will be impossible for me to attain such security.
35. Until now I have followed the dictates of my ego concepts. For too long now, I have been constantly preoccupied with ego-based activities (entanglement with thousands of concepts, fear, supposedly protecting myself, etc.) I have found no time to really think about myself, i.e. about my inner strength, peace and clarity of mind. This is the cause of all of my conflicts. From now on I shall at least try to take charge of my mind.
36. The ego is always bound up with anxiety and therefore gives rise to great insecurity, preventing the person from opening up. This is precisely why it is absolutely necessary to break down false distance, prejudices and barriers towards others.
37. I have perceived my ego as a supposedly protective function. But it is no true protection; it is rather the open door to all complications.
38. Openness is my protection, not ego. This is the only way I can stand with both feet firmly on the ground. Only then shall I be able to really help others.
39. When I am open I lose my fear and my inner strength is enhanced. In this way I can develop all of my abilities, joy, security, etc. I shall automatically feel more secure, because I understand that there is in fact nothing to lose. It is only through this experience that I can attain self- confidence and inner strength.
40. I shall never be able to think in a wholesome way about myself as long as I follow the dictates of the ego – as I have done so far.
41. I should not take my little ego so seriously, but rather take the overall situation into account. If I act in accordance with it I shall be much happier.
42. If I always talk about myself I am being very egocentric. (Let’s have) more “WE” than “I.”
43. If I say, “After all, I have my pride,” I am supporting my ego, with the result that I entangle myself in even more problems.
44. Sensitivity (in the sense of being easily hurt or offended) is a sign of ego reaction, because a feeling arises in me of not having received what I deserve. Sensitivity (in the sense of empathy towards others’ feelings and wishes) and healthy pragmatism are much better.
Excerpt from Dagyab Rinpoche’s book – Being A Good Human Being (Some Fundamental Thoughts on Human Communication), published by Tibethaus 2005