The beginning of a new year is a great time to remind ourselves that we can approach our lives in a fresh and open way. It's a good time to start with a clean slate, to set our calculator-minds back to zero, to erase our metaphorical chalk boards so we can get back in touch with our true nature and operate from there rather than that delusional place that believes we're all separate from everyone and everything else.
During my twelve years of Catholic school I was taught that we’re all born with original sin. Having been born essentially tainted, we're asked to search for salvation outside of ourselves even though Jesus Christ himself said that the kingdom of God is within you.
Buddhism teaches that we come into this world with what I call original goodness, or Buddha nature: a pure, perfect, loving nature that we simply need to get back in touch with. It’s always there just as the sun is always shining even behind the clouds on a stormy day. It isn’t something we need to try and get, it’s something we merely need to uncover.
If we’re going through life from the starting point of being damaged goods in need of repair from some far away and disconnected entity that judges us and our actions as good or bad, our motivations and behavior will be one way. But if we approach life from a place where we realize we’re inherently good, and we take the time to sit silently and mindfully so we can get a real glimpse of that goodness, then our actions will always be natural and right on. There won’t be any need to for over-thinking anything or following someone else’s set of one-size-fits-all rules. We can be in touch with our hearts and our true nature enough to know what the right course of action is at any given moment.
May we all attain a degree of sanity and peace of mind so we can better serve ourselves and each other.
Happy New Year!