The Zen master Hakuin lived in a town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his next door neighbor became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry and scolding parents as the identity of the father, she finally told them that he was Hakuin, the Zen Master. In great anger the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting accusation that the daughter bad confessed that he was the father. All he was replied was “is that so?”
News of the scandal spread throughout the town and beyond. The master lost his reputation. This did not trouble him. No one came to see him anymore. He remained unmoved. When the child was born, the parents brought him to Hakuin. “You are the father so you look after him.” The Master took loving care of the child. A year later, the mother remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at the butcher shop. In great distress they went and apologized to Hakuin and asked for forgiveness. “We are really sorry. We have come to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.” “Is that so>” is all he would say as he handed the baby over to them.
The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, in exactly the same way. “Is that so?” He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so he does not become a participant in human drama. TO him there is only this moment, and the moment is as it is. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness.
Imagine briefly how the ego would have reacted during the various stages of the unfolding of these events.
Ego and the Present Moment
The most important, the primordial relationship in your life is your relationship with the Now, or rather with whatever form the now takes, that is to say, what is or what happens. If your relationship with the Now is dysfunctional, that dysfunction will be reflected in every relationship and every situation you encounter. The ego could be defined simply in this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment. It is at this moment that you can decided what relationship you want to have with the present moment.
Once you have reached a certain level of consciousness, (and by reading this you almost certainly have), you are able to decide what kind of relationship you want to have with the present moment. Do I want the present moment to be my friend or enemy. The present moment is inseparable from life, so you are really deciding on what kind of relationship you want with life. Once you have decided you want the moment to be your friend, it is up to you to make the first move. Become friendly toward it, welcome it no matter what disguise it comes, and soon it will become friendly toward you, people become helpful, circumstances become cooperative. One decision changes your entire reality. This decision has to be made again and again and again- until it becomes natural to live in such a way.
The decision to become friends with the present is the end of the ego. The ego can never be in alignment with the present moment, which is to say, aligned with life, since it is its very nature to ignore, resist, and devalue the Now. The stronger the ego, the more time it takes to over your life. Almost every thought you think is concerned with past of future, and your sense of self depends on the future for its fulfillment. Fear, anxiety, expectation, regret, guilt, and anger are the dysfunctions to the time bound state of consciousness.Via A NEW EARTH- By Eckhart Tolle