We can very easily become involuntarily slaves to our egos, particularly when faced with a difficult or stressful circumstances. Your ego makes demands, and you follow what that inner voice says. This does not often lead to good decision-making.
Mindfulness techniques, however, can help open up other levels of thought in your mind. There are, after all, a plurality of voices in your mind, Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg point out in today's lesson. Mindfulness techniques are designed to free you to listen to your most practical voice.
The purpose of mindfulness training is to develop the ability to be aware of what you are feeling quickly - whether it is anger, hatred, fear or other destructive impulses. Then you might be able to delay your reaction, Salzberg says, and this will allow you to consider a response that is practical and constructive.