Ego-clinging is very subtle. Everything we do seems to be another way to feed the ego. The ego bribes us into assuming a path that seems to be a genuine spiritual practice, but then our ego usurps it. Even chanting ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ can be appropriated by the ego. You sit down on your meditation cushion and assume the posture, but it’s because of ego. You light incense and prostrate before your statues in your little retreat room, but it’s still all for your ego. We need something to break free from the ego’s grip and that is the accumulation of merit and the purification of obscurations, in conjunction with devotion and compassion.
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