the hurdle of conceit

April 8, 2010

The conceit of self (mana in Pali) is said to be the last of the great obstacles to full awakening.  Conceit is an ingenious creature, at times masquerading as humility, empathy, or virtue.  Conceit manifests in the feelings of being better than, worse than, and equal to another.  Within these three dimensions of conceit are held the whole tormented world of comparing, evaluating, and judging that afflicts our hearts.  Jealousy, resentment, fear, and low self-esteem spring from this deeply embedded pattern. Conceit perpetuates the dualities of “self” and “other”—the schisms that are the root of the enormous alienation and suffering in our world.  Our commitment to awakening asks us to honestly explore the ways in which conceit manifests in our lives and to find the way to its end.

– Christina Feldman

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