For the ego – right action is finding out how any situation can meet my ego’s personal agenda and needs. Or more specifically, how can I scheme up a situation that will in the future meet my criteria of needs?
The present moment is actually a state of open inner space. When you’re in the present moment you’re asking this question: How do I respond to the requirements of this present circumstance at this very point in time? How do you tell the difference between ego and the present moment when a situation arises?
If when a situation presents itself you have an emotional reaction, then that is most probably an ego response. But if a situation arises and the first thing that presents itself is shining, black, limitless space, you can know that you are responding from the present moment.
Instead of reactivity against new circumstances, the nature of Presence is for you to merge with the situation and the solution arises without judgment or reactivity.
If you dig deeper you will find that it isn’t even you as a personality that is evaluating what is going on. Instead it is Stillness itself with it’s relaxed, open, alacrity that is operating seamlessly in empty space. If action is needed, right action occurs. And that action is appropriate not only to your personal life, but also to the complete whole.
Another way of identifying egoless right action from the pettiness of the personality is whether you are experiencing any pride. In right action there is no one pumping his fist up in the air in a gesture of defiant triumph. Right action is not a victory but rather the next moment of Being.
And even if your actions do arise out of the empty space of Being, you will need to be vigilant afterward that you do not take credit for what you have accomplished. Because as soon as ownership of your action takes place, the ego returned and the boundless space of infinite possibility has once again been hidden and lost.
~ Eckhart Tolle www.tolleteachings.com