“Seeking happiness outside ourselves is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north.”
The crystallization of “me” and “mine” can be observed daily.
You are taking a nap in a boat on the lake. Another boat bumps into you and you wake up with a jump. Thinking that another clumsy or malicious boat driver drove into your boat you sit up and are ready to insult him…and you realize that the other boat is empty and you start to laugh.
The only difference between these two reactions is the fact that in the first case you thought you were the target of someone’s malice and in the second case you realize that your “me” was not targeted.
Self-centeredness which makes you/your “me”/your ego the center of the world shows a point of view entirely relative. Our mistake is to fix our own perspective and hope, or worse to require “our” world to prevail over that of others.
Reduce the sense of importance of yourself (your “me”, your ego) and you will acquire an internal long lasting strength. The reason is simple: The feeling of importance of your “me” is a target for all kind of mental projectiles – jealousy, fear, greed, repulsion – which will continue to destabilize you.
(excerpt from “Plaidoyer pour le bonheur” – Matthieu Ricard – free translation and adaptation by Cloud)