Even my kids know there are good guys and bad guys. As adults, we decide what we are. This post is directed to the good guys. If you’re a bad guy, maybe I’ll write something for you another time. My Buddhist meditation teacher talked about good guys a couple of weeks ago in our class. Here’s a version of what he said.
We want to be good people, but there are often occasions where our inner life does not stack up. We try to turn away from the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that we think tell us something bad about ourselves.
— Within all of us, there exists every human emotion, “good” and “bad.”
Our unpleasant states of mind create tension, we want to get over them or we act them out, and then we feel shame. Later on, we do it again.
— Aversion invests emotions with energy; every time we act them out, we condition our mind to behave in that way.
It is better to make a home for all of our emotions. Accept that it will not all be pleasant or comfortable, but it will all be workable. Their existence means nothing about who you really are. It’s what you do with these emotions when they occur that determines whether your actions will help or harm others.
— By becoming more open and accepting of ourselves, we become more compassionate towards others.
Mindful awareness observes the breath, the body, and the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that arise and fall away. Mindfulness holds anything completely, without judgement. This holding is an approximation of love.
— There exists in all of us a capacity to hold instead of react.
Every experience exists on its own. We just have to show up for it without resentments, judgements, opinions, or desires. That is what having an open heart means.
— Goodness flows from an open heart.