Our traInIng in higher knowledge leads us first to an understanding of relative reality and then to a deeper understanding of ultimate reality: the mind’s true nature of selflessness. We must see that, in the end, the root of all our suffering, all our pain, all our confusion is our own self-clinging, our sense of self-importance. That self is always causing us pain. There is no other root cause. It is just ego—that flash of “I” that’s the central reference point in our personal universe. No matter what we’re doing, our actions always come from and reflect back to this sense of self-consciousness. It’s the starting point of duality, the splitting apart of what’s naturally whole.
Ponlop Rinpoche, Rebel Buddha
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