A Glimpse of Basic Goodness

Basic goodness is on my mind every single day.  I practice being conscious of my own intentions, in both actions and words.  When I do slip up and veer away from my highest intentions, I appreciate any reminders to step back onto the path of basic goodness.  It’s a constant process, like breathing. Sometimes it’s the smallest hint that returns my doubting, critical thoughts to a more balanced state of mind.  One hint, for which I am most grateful, is the subtle appearance of a small patch of rainbow appearing in the sky.  Not a full arch following a storm, just a swatch catching the sun in a  moment of brilliance.  It happens mostly at the end of day, driving west, on my way home from school.  No matter what kind of day it’s been, whenever I notice one of those patches, it refreshes my awareness of the basic goodness of life.

In Smiling at Fear:  Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, Chögyam Trungpa writes, “If you are in a room and you open the door and walk outside, there is a sudden breeze of fresh air.  Such an experience may last only a second, but that whiff of fresh air is the smell of basic goodness.  Things like that are always happening to you, but you have been ignoring them, thinking they are mundane and unimportant, purely coincidences of an ordinary nature.  However, it is worthwhile to take advantage of anything that happens to you that has that particular nature of goodness.  You begin to realize that there is nonaggression happening all around you in your life, and you are able to feel the freshness of realizing your goodness, again and again.”

I’m starting to see that one of my most important roles as Director of the Seed and as a human being in general, is to continue training in practices that foster basic goodness.  Acknowledging the good works of others, being a more present listener, approaching demanding issues with an open heart, planting sunflowers, are among those practices.  Training in basic goodness also means paying attention to the messages of daily life and responding with deeper awareness.  When a glimmer of basic goodness appears in the western sky, a cool breeze wafts through the screen door, or a previously silent child speaks to me for the first time, I can pause briefly to honor that glimpse and offer it back to the world with kindness and an open heart.  Each of these moments is an invitation for all of us to let the radiance of our inner light shine forth.

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