One should learn to take care of oneself; however, ordinary beings are capable of nothing but self-harm. If one truly wants to care for oneself, the “Buddha Dharma self” must first be activated in one’s heart as the guardian of the “ordinary being’s ego”.
Each of us has two selves, namely the “Buddha self” and the “ordinary being’s ego”. The “Buddha self” is real, while the “ordinary being’s ego” is false. The “ordinary being’s ego” commits sins, accumulates bad karma, and binds itself fast to the wheel of birth and death. Since the “ordinary being’s ego” is illusory in nature, the relevant unwholesome deeds and samsara (the cycle of reincarnation in the six realms) are necessarily illusory, not real. [Recognizing such truth], we ordinary beings should learn to let go [of all phenomena in this world] and not take things too seriously.
If the “Buddha self” is always enshrined in our hearts to console us, despite the [woeful nature of] the existence of the “ordinary being’s ego”, we are still able to live a life of peace, calm, happiness and sunshine.
— Master Jingzong
(English translation by Foyuan, edited by Jingxin)