Loving Without Attachment to the Ego
This is a nice idea, certainly one encouraged by the yogic philosophy, yet we may not have an idea of what it really involves. As a therapist and yoga teacher, it has been rare to come across people who are interested in letting go of attachment to the ego. In a way, we enjoy the stories and dramas created by ego, and then other days, (when you have acted out the same patterned behavior for the millionth time), we hate it!
If you ask inside, “Do I really want to love without ego?”, and YES! comes from inside your being, (not from the head), then go for it. If it is your heart’s desire to love and experience relationship in this way, you must follow it! Otherwise, feel free to stay in ego love, watch it, and enjoy it. Practice observation of the projections of love, i.e. loving the projected mother or father, or loving the reflection of your perfect self or most hated self. There are lots of themes of ego love that can be quite dramatic, engaging, and chaotic. These games can serve as opportunities to learn a great deal about oneself. Enjoy the opportunity.
Even if one doesn’t really know how to love without attachment to ego, (like me, I’m learning as I go), if we remain committed to the intention, the heart will continue to expand and ego will continue to dissolve.
My elementary understanding of what comprises a tantric relationship is where I am committed to loving another from my Pure Heart rather than the small ego, remembering the other as the Beloved rather than as their small ego, and choosing to act with love in every moment with the other. How fantastic! And how utterly challenging.
In my explorations with sacred relationship, here’s the how tos I’ve discovered so far.
5 Tips for How to Love Fully without attachment to the Ego
- Get to know your ego, make friends with it, understand and accept its existence within you
- Commit to a consistent meditative and breath practice so your ability to witness your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors with some distance increases.
- Every time you notice the ego tempting you to put up walls of fear, resistance and judgement towards another, look within yourself to see what you are not content with within your own being.
- Be honest with yourself. Be honest with others. Share your ego and its’ fears.
- Share love whenever you remember. With your partner, your children, your friends, a stranger, a collegue, the Existence around you….in the most subtle ways we can share love and expand the energy of the heart. With some this may be a smile, a silent prayer, with others it may be sharing attention, listening, playing, giving something, cooking, writing a letter, massaging, holding a hand, a phone call, singing, dancing, creating, whenever you remember, share your love. This consistent remembering to take action from the heart (when it’s not an obligation!), expands consciousness and diminishes unconsciousness (ego).
Experiment and enjoy!
Paramhansa Yogananda: A Mahayogi Comes West
Millions actively practice yoga and meditation with the ultimate goal of achieving self-realization, but few are aware of one of the most influential people who brought these Eastern teachings to the West. Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian yogi and guru who lived from 1893 to 1952, experienced his own rendition of the famed Hero’s Journey. Yogananda’s legacy lives on, and his seminal work, Autobiography of a Yogi, is still considered among the “100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century,” continuing to grace the bookshelves of philosophers and the spiritually inquisitive.
Born to a devout, upper-class family in Gorakhpur, India, Yogananda’s spiritual fate was foretold in his infancy. His parents’ guru, Lahiri Mahasaya, blessed the child and told his mother, “Little mother, thy son will be a yogi. As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.” The prophecy did not take long to begin its manifestation, and at an early age, Yogananda experienced the first signs of spiritual awakening.
When he was eleven years old, Yogananda’s mother was in Calcutta — he had a dream that she was dying. A telegram arrived soon after, confirming this tragedy. From this point onward, Yogananda’s spiritual life escalated, and he began an earnest search for the guru he had seen thousands of times in his dreams. When he was 17-years old, he finally found Swami Yuktweswar Giri, a revered teacher who met him with open arms, and declared that he had been waiting for Yogananda.
It was at their first meeting that Yuktweswar taught Yogananda the meaning of unconditional love. In his autobiography, Yogananda recalls his master’s words, “‘Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.’” It was also during this first meeting that Yuktweswar told Yogananda that he was destined to teach Kriya Yoga in the United States and throughout the world.