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Lions Roar : May 2015
Simple Moments You can discover goodness, says CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA, in the ordinary experiences of being alive. IF WE ARE WILLING to take an unbiased look, we will find that, in spite of all our problems and confusion, all our emotional and psychological ups and downs, there is something basically good about our existence as human beings. Unless we can discover that ground of goodness in our own lives, we cannot hope to improve the lives of others. If we are simply miserable and wretched beings, how can we possibly imagine, let alone realize, an enlightened society? Discovering real goodness comes from appreciating very simple experiences. We are not talking about how good it feels to make a million dollars or finally graduate from college or buy a new house. We are speaking here of the basic goodness of be- ing alive—which does not depend on our accomplishments or fulfilling our desires. We experience glimpses of goodness all the time, but we often fail to acknowledge them. When we see a bright color, we are witnessing our own inherent goodness. When we hear a beautiful sound, we are hearing our own basic good- ness. When we step out of the shower, we feel fresh and clean, and when we walk out of a stuffy room, we appreciate the sudden whiff of fresh air. These events may take a fraction of a second, but they are real experiences of goodness. They happen to us all the time, but usually we ignore them as mundane or purely coincidental. According to the Shambhala principles, however, it is worth- while to recognize and take advantage of those moments, be- cause they are revealing basic nonaggression and freshness in our lives—basic goodness. Every human being has a basic nature of goodness, which is undiluted and unconfused. That goodness contains tremendous gentleness and appreciation. As human beings, we can make love. We can stroke someone with a gentle touch; we can kiss someone with gentle understanding. We can appreciate beauty. We can appreciate the best of this world. We can appreciate its vividness: the yellowness of yellow, the redness of red, the greenness of green, the purpleness of purple. Our experience is real. When yellow is yellow, can we say it is red, if we don’t like the yellowness of it? That would be contradicting reality. When we have sunshine, can we reject it and say that the sunshine is terrible? Can we really say that? When we have brilliant sun- shine or wonderful snowfall, we appreciate it. And when we ap- preciate reality, it can actually work on us. We may have to get up in the morning after only a few hours’ sleep, but if we look out the window and see the sun shining, it can cheer us up. We can actually cure ourselves of depression if we recognize that the world we have is good. It is not just an arbitrary idea that the world is good, but it is good because we can experience its goodness. We can experi- ence our world as healthy and straightforward, direct and real, because our basic nature is to go along with the goodness of situations. The human potential for intelligence and dignity is attuned to experiencing the brilliance of the bright blue sky, the freshness of green fields, and the beauty of the trees and moun- tains. We have an actual connection to reality that can wake us up and make us feel basically, fundamentally good. ♦ From Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, by Chögyam Trungpa (Shambhala Publications) PHOTOBYDAVIDHORNBACKMILLENNIUMIMAGES,UK SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2015 49