It was great to have Neil open today. He spoke vividly about how baseball hitters are able to get into the zone, where they can see the seams of the ball (which is hurtling down at breackneck speed toward them). Getting into the zone is about being able to slow down our minds and take in a much bigger view of what is happening in front of us.
Pavi shared a succinct observation - between the stimulus and the response lies a space. When we slow down, we begin to notice this space, and realize that we can choose our response. To me, this is the freedom that mystics and saints talk about. To realize that I create my own reality, not at the level of philosophical platitudes but at the level of practical reality, is a great realization. To keep that realization at every moment is an ideal to aspire for. Much happiness can be determined in our lives by doing so.
I liked all the different examples in which my ego plays out. I could find myself raising my hand several times. I would add that feeling guilty about the past is another big activity for the ego. Who is guilty and about what? I have deviated from my self-image and am devastated. This is one of the biggest time-sinks we can engage in. Every time I've been in this mode, all it has taken is one simple question - who is feeling guilty? And immediately, the foolishness of the time spent feeling sorry for myself becomes evident.