Q: How to recognize and transcend the ego to balance our inner and outer worlds?
A: You can recognize your ego when you are in rebellious moods (anger, jealousy, greed, etc). This is a very useful opportunity to transcend your ego, for in these moments, the ego is very strong. Moods such as doubt, refusal, arrogance, stubbornness shows where you are now. You began as a child and you will end as a child. You must lose whatever you have acquired in the meantime, and restart at the beginning. The Guru gives you the route of realization when you trust him completely.
There are two planes in you: the plane of mind and the plane of no mind. One is the periphery of your being; one is the centre of your being. A man of awareness and true understanding moves from the periphery to the centre, and from the centre to the periphery. It is like moving from the market to the temple, and from the temple to the market. Because these two are his wings, they are not against each other. At the temple you are Buddha, and at the periphery you are in thousand and one games. The ego is also a part of consciousness. If you are wise, the same ego serves the Self and becomes one with the Self. In ignorance you are the slave of ego.
Q: Since doing the retreat in Montreal, almost two years now, I have been studying how to do yoga practices in meditating. I continue to learn something every day and feel I am making progress (even if it is a snail’s pace). I do have a problem with mantras though. My whole life, I have been hard of hearing and therefore trying to duplicate the sounds (especially if they have some complexity to them), is very difficult. Sanskrit is a whole new ball-game for me. When I was a child, up until I had a speech therapist teach me the English language sounds, no one could understand me. I now understand the importance of producing the proper vibrations while meditating so as to help me with my progress. Is there something I can do to rectify this problem of mine. I live in a Northern Ontario, Canada community where Yoga is practiced however I don’t know of anyone with my passion to develop myself in God’s light.
A: The Guru usually teaches or gives the mantra to the disciple, by which they themselves have to reach the goal. It's a device. Sometimes, people come to the Guru with their gross body, and sometimes the mind has been so mishandled, perverted and weak. If the Guru gives them "Aham Bhrahmasmi" mantra (I am the absolute), the formless attention is beyond their reach. In such cases, sometimes a simple token of earnestness is appreciated. Just repeat: Om Namo Narayanaya, or Om Namah Shivaya. Such small mantras are very powerful. Gaze at a picture of Krishna, or the Sri Yantra. This prepares the body and mind for a deeper and more direct search. Before that, love yourself wisely. You will reach the summit of perfection. Wish yourself well always. Think deeply about what is good for you. When you practice the japa (mantra repetition) initiated by Guru, it should take a form. Japa is not a habit. Because mantra is a combination of sound and form. Sound is an energy force, and the resonance of the sound takes the yantra form. Any system is a means, not the end. You should know how to break the evolution. There is a natural rate of spiritual evolution. This rate can be accelerated using mantra. Mantra meditation is faster than science.