Friday, December 02, 2005

Learning to See Goodness

Certain people are rather challenging to my ability to see their true selves under all the !%$@& they've developed on top. I know there is a basic goodness within all of us, how could it not be, but being able to see and relate to it within someone who doesn't see it within themselves, well now that's the test of our spiritual accomplishment.

I also think that being a Buddha isn't about how we relate to people who are being easily lovable. The Buddha is a Buddha because she actually sees everyone as lovable, even those the rest of us would call "hard to love." We don't have to agree with the decisions others make in order to love them. That is the idea I have to keep reminding myself of.

I am learning to separate discrimination from judgment. Discrimination about what we will or will not do, believe, or contribute to, is a responsibility. But judgment is a part of building up our ego identity as "the virtuous one" or "the smart one" or "the martyr" or whatever defines us as "better." For us to be better, someone else has to be worse. We are then defining ourselves by what we are not, and using others towards that end.

So my path of awakening is a path of learning how to see without the confines of all my identities that require me to relate to others by their personality traits in order to define myself as whoever I'm supposed to be. Looking for the "soft spot" Pema Chodron speaks of is something useful to remember in trying to do that. I would phrase it, "look beyond the false; do not be deceived. You will find the truth."

-- from the comments thread at The Goodness Blog

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