Identity? Ego? Happiness?

   picture taken at Norwottuck Rail Trail, Northampton, MA 2017

Today I felt enlightened after chat with Tahn Pamutto, a Theravadin Buddhist monk who wandered freely throughout the countryside. I saw him in October with a group of Amherst students on our way to Temple Forest Monastery. At that time, he was wandering in Jaffrey in New Hampshire, where we first met in front of a Dunkin’ Donuts shop. I did not have a chance to talk to him, even say hi to introduce myself, but I was hoping our paths would come across again.

Almost one month later. From 102 miles apart to sitting at the table across from each other, our paths indeed came across sooner than I thought would be. I am very delightful this time to have the opportunity to talk, and most importantly, had a meaningful heart-to-heart conversation about his journey and way of life.

To understand our egos is to uncover who we really are. Regardless of external influences, voices hang on our heads, or past experiences, it is a present process to observe our thoughts and emotions. What I personally learn from this day-to-day reflective experience and “quiet” moment is to actually discover my hidden self and sub-conscious in face of the unknown and
uncertainties. Oftentimes, it involves a great deal of emotional energy to incrementally challenge and break through my own set of values, beliefs or forgiveness sort to speak. Aside from ego, I know what I want is on the other side of my fears. It does not to do with my identity neither internally nor externally. How we form our identities and grant power to that has always been an intrigued topic to me. I am not a huge fan of using “identity” as a label to rationalize reality, especially in an unpredictable or convoluted situation where people are not wired to be who you see or think they are. The creation of identity is supposed to help people inform about who they are, where they come from as well their histories and cultures. However, it is more so becoming a trigger to division, ignorance, miscommunications, and social inequalities. This is unfair and failures to comprehend the complexity of issues in all directions. Seeing is not always believing when it comes to validate our headlong perceptions intuitively or not, we are clueless without true knowing. And that’s where a lot of pains originated from due to flawed mentality, linear thinking, ill perspectives and absolute (bad) attitudes.

The pursuit of real happiness is in absence our egos. Even just letting go a tiny bit would make a difference, which essentially we give ourselves permission to become who we really are. That’s how I define real happiness, where our hearts and minds are harmoniously tune in action.

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