"When you cling to desire, your ego identity (that aspect of the mind that regards itself as 'me' and 'mine') becomes organized around fulfilling desire and starts to measure how well it is doing by how many of your desires are met. If you genuinely want to be less caught in clinging and suffering, you need to develop some form of renunciation practice that interrupts this pattern and disengages from the ego's drive to have what it wants. If you don't, your ego desires will continue to rule your life, set your priorities, and allocate your time. Renunciation is not about killing your ego or developing aversion to it; rather, it is about forming a new relationship with your ego such that it reflects your deeper values rather than its immediate wants.

"Practicing renunciation means that you consciously give up certain attitudes, views, behaviors, and goals because they lead you to clinging and suffering. You don't cease being motivated by your ego; after all, it is a source of interest and energy. Think of the ego as a puppy — it likes to play, chase after things, wants attention, and creates messes, but it is still lovable and a source of warmth in your life. And it can be trained and developed to serve your deeper values. Students often feel dread when I bring up the topic of renunciation. But their fear is unfounded, because renunciation enhances rather than diminishes your life."