What is ego? Why does too much ego create a crisis for spiritual practitioners? Supreme Master Ching Hai tells the story of the Race between the Tortoise and the Hare, reminding us to control our egos and not become arrogant. Any time we practice with others with an arrogant attitude, and deliberately seek to be higher than our friends so that they’ll see how we practice harder than they do, maya's hindrance will emerge. Thus, we should always monitor our personality so that our greed, anger, and ignorance are controlled; the ego should also be constrained so that it will not cause trouble for us.
Spiritual practice is personal business and should remain on the personal level; thus, we cause trouble for ourselves if we compete with others. Because we want to progress quickly, maya will come and create illusions for us so that we believe we’re already high enough and too good to need more practice. When we become arrogant, it’s hard even for Master to save us. Therefore, spiritual practice is both simple and complex. Controlling ourselves is the most troublesome part. As soon as we become a little bit proud, our level drops immediately, so we should be cautious in every step and during every second of our spiritual practice.