In these often cynical times, we might think of original goodness as merely an uplifting phrase, but through its lens we discover a radically different way of seeing and being: one whose aim is to transform our world. This does not mean that we ignore the enormousness of people’s sorrows or that we make ourselves foolishly vulnerable to unstable and perhaps violent individuals. Indeed, to find the dignity in others, their suffering has to be acknowledged. Among the most central of all Buddhist psychological principles are the Four Noble Truths, which begin by acknowledging the inevitable suffering in human life. This truth, too, is hard to talk about in modern culture, where people are taught to avoid discomfort at any cost, where “the pursuit of happiness” has become “the right to happiness.” And yet when we are suffering it is so refreshing and helpful to have the truth of suffering acknowledged.
How might we intuitively connect with this quality in those around us? Just as no one can tell us how to feel love, each of us can find our own way to sense the underlying goodness in others. One way is to shift the frame of time, imagining the person before us as a small child, still young and innocent.
Or, instead of moving back in time, we can move forward. We can visualize the person at the end of his life, lying on his deathbed, vulnerable, open, with nothing to hide. Or we can simply see him as a fellow wayfarer, struggling with his burdens, wanting happiness and dignity. Beneath the fears and needs, the aggression and pain, whoever we encounter is a being who, like us, has the tremendous potential for understanding and compassion, whose goodness is there to be touched.
beginning and endings find us in the muddy middle…..how do we connect to our truth?
inquiry for today~ see the other within your own heart- just for a moment- and know truth……
Look inside and find where a person loves from.
That’s the reality. Not what they say.