We cannot see a grain of sand from inside the grain of sand. The perceiver is not the perceived. The observer is not the observed. The seer is not the seen. Whatever I perceive is not me. Not even this body? Not even that.
What we call ‘ego’ is a mind addicted to thinking. Does it need to be said that thinking about this addiction can only feed the addiction? A higher faculty than thought is required.
To cultivate a quiet mind, continuously observe the babble of thought in the head. Notice the repetition and negativity. See how the aim of these thoughts is to trigger an emotional response, how they parade their own importance. Dispassionate attention slows the mind. The space between thoughts expands.
Meditation is a full-time job. Of course, we meet our basic responsibilities, but these are simple and few. We meditate when we observe without comment every act we perform and every thought we think. Like standing outside of ourselves until it’s time for bed.
There are two kinds of work: necessary and unnecessary. Can I refrain from unnecessary work? Refrain comes from the Latin word for bridle. Can I refrain from unnecessary speech? It’s not so easy.