Born to Be Good

Great Grandmother and Newborn BabyIn a recent blog post, I said that Buddhists believe we’re all born with the potential for good. I wasn’t entirely happy with how I put that and just today saw a quote that I like much better. It’s from The Heart of Unconditional Love by Tulku Thondup and came to me via the Wheel, a blog of Shambhala Publications:

According to Buddhism, all existents abide in loving-kindness free from concepts in their absolute nature. But the understanding and realization of that true nature have been covered over by the webs of our own mental, emotional, and intellectual obscurations.

Now, in order to uncover the true nature and its qualities, we must dispel the cover—our unhealthy concepts, emotions, and actions. Through the power of devotion and contemplation, we must uncover and see the true innate enlightened qualities—loving-kindness that is free from concepts—shining forever.

This is what I believe, and it reflects a recent Wisdom podcast I listened to just yesterday, an interview of Jamyang Rinche, one of the Dalai Lama’s translators. Put in simple Western terms, we are all born with the loving kindness (compassion) and wisdom of the Buddha, but we don’t know it. By quieting our minds and shedding our pre-conceived notions, we can find that and become the Buddha.

But even if we don’t become Buddha, we have great potential to do good as well as some potential for evil. The farther we get from the loving kindness and wisdom of the Buddha within, the more potential we have for evil.

Copyright 2015 © Mel Harkrader Pine

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