A penny in your mouth

The ego is pretty damn cunning. Throw it out the front door and it will slither back in through the back door.

Someone goes on retreat to sit with her own mind and suddenly she becomes a buddhist or a meditator, complete with robes, crystals, scented candles, etc. And presto, the ego is in charge of the process of getting rid of the ego.

We will do anything not to dislodge our ego from its throne, from the driver’s seat.

But then, what can we do? Well, in order to defeat the ego we must be able to recognize it. How to recognize the ego? Pay attention to situations where the ego has taken control, where your equilibrium has been disturbed. Feeling righteous anger? Judging thy neighbor? Fighting with your partner? Great! Pay attention and try to figure out what those moments have in common.

Interestingly, to me, the ego has a metallic taste that is very distinctive and easy to recognize. Even more interestingly my friend Pablo had the same sensation, ‘like a penny in your mouth’.

To what degree that taste is a universal characteristic, I don’t know.

Another sure fire way to know that the ego has risen to defend its perch? Righteous anger at someone’s words. Suddenly feel upset because someone said something you completely disagree with? See if you can taste the penny in your mouth. Then see what belief you have about yourself that was challenged by the other person’s words, figure out why they were correct and why your ego rose to defend that belief.

You will have found some important support the ego relies on. Knock it out from under it.

Good luck.

You’ll need it.

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