Search
0:00
0:00
Currently Watching
Our Basic Goodness
11m

Our Basic Goodness

Find out how to trust your basic goodness.

View Transcript
[Thomas McConkie, Mindfulness Teacher] In Gospel Meets Dharma, we've explored salvation and awakening. Salvation involves a relationship, awakening involves awakening to our basic nature. There's a quote that I love from Thomas Keating in his famous book, "Open Mind, Open Heart," which I think represents a kind of unique blend of the first and second person. He writes that, "The fundamental goodness of human nature is an essential element of Christian faith. This basic core of goodness is capable of unlimited development, indeed, of becoming transformed into Christ and deified." I want to just do a brief exploration of what it might feel like to trust our basic goodness more fully. For many of us, one of the great obstacles on the spiritual path is to come to more fully trust our own basic goodness, and by extension, to trust the basic goodness of life. Notice what happens in the body mind when I invite you to trust your own basic goodness. What do you feel? What happens? Emotions come up. Do you brace? Do you clench? Do you feel fear or dread or cynicism or doubt? You relax. You open up, as your heart start to smile, as you feel you're remembering something deeply innate to you and your nature, kind of joy, freedom, a spontaneity, or something maybe in between, some clenching, some doubt, some joy, some openness. There's no need to try to fix anything here. You're just seeing how much you can learn when you bring your full awareness to your own basic goodness. For the moment, as a contemplative experiment, try trusting your own basic goodness even more. However much you normally trust your basic goodness, try to trust it even more. 5%, another 5%, like you're really taking to be true that your basic nature, your very core is good. Your core is capable of unlimited development of becoming infinite, even deified, whatever that means to you. Unlimited transformation. Yes, as you grow up, as you wake up, your behaviors will change, your attitudes will change, and yet in this very moment there is no need to change your essential nature. This current manifestation of itself and that manifestation of itself that lies in your future are not two different selves, but are all made of the same stuff and are basically good to the very core. Trust this good news. If you feel like you have a hang for this part of the exercise, you have good contact with your own basic goodness and your infinite capacity for development and transformation. Let this basic goodness, this trust of a basic goodness expand out to all of life. The basic goodness of life itself, that life is deeply worth living, and that you, we, all of us are engaged in something profoundly meaningful, significant and important by choosing to live, by choosing to engage. Notice what comes up here. Does the heart leap? Does it open up? Does it wilt? Does it clench? Just notice. With whatever trust you have and the basic goodness of yourself and life itself, start from here. Even if it's just a thimbleful, start from right here and immerse yourself in this trust. And even as you pour trust into your own basic goodness, the basic goodness of life, note the paradox that as we "wake up," it's not actually us who's doing the waking up. Something wakes up through us. As we feel ourself being healed and saved by redeeming love, it's not a love that we know how to earn, somehow it just comes to us. Appreciate, in other words, the purity of your nature always already right here. Good through and through. And also somehow, this need, something more, something to come through you. Awakening, grace. Depending on the perspective you take in a given moment, it's both, it's neither. Just trust.

Did You Like This Exercise?

You May Also Like

Thomas McConkie
More exercises from
Thomas McConkie