I am empty of separate self because I am made of non-me elements. So, I am made of the whole cosmos just like other animals, plants and minerals. That's why I am the whole cosmos. We (everything) are all the same as the whole cosmos.
Ego is merely a concept. However, ego manifests though it doesn't exist like afflictions because we have body and mind (brain). In this sense, ego can be regarded as body and mind (brain). And ego is made of non-ego elements, including awareness. Ego is, because awareness is. And awareness is, because ego is. They are really two sides of the same coin. If ego is removed, awareness is also removed. Therefore, ego is very precious because ego is no other than awareness.
David Bohm mentioned that the explicate order (body: ego) is enfolding into the implicate order (consciousness: awareness) and the implicate order (consciousness: awareness) is unfolding into the explicate order (body: ego). So, Buddha's emptiness is equal to Bohm's implicate order.
I don't separate myself from others because we are all the same as the whole cosmos. You are in me and I am in you. I see myself in you and you are in me. So, you are me and I am you. David Bohm called this state as "Wholeness" (A Coherent Approach to Reality). That's why your suffering is my suffering and your happiness is my happiness. Helping others is equal to helping myself. In this sense, I really feel the need to "help" "others = myself". If you don't help others, others (= yourself) will keep suffering.
Thay said, "To pronounce the sentence, 'I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha', is not the same. You may pronounce it but you don't do it. Now you don't have to pronounce the sentence, you just follow your in-breath and breathe in and out mindfully, and then the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha just manifest in you as the refuge and you are safe." Consistency of speech and action is vital. And we have to be careful that criticizing others is equal to criticizing oneself. The object is the subject, the projection of mind, the mirror reflecting oneself.