Saturday, October 29

Opening to Basic Goodness

Last night I got the chance to listen to Fleet Maull give a talk titled "Beyond Cynicism: Personal and societal Meaning of Meditation."

I got to say, this whole concept of basic goodness is not one that comes easily to this conditioned mind of mine (as I'm sure is true for many of us with those same conditioned minds!) Yet, sitting there last night I saw something different. I saw something of possibility open. I saw that we, as humans, have the distinct ability to feel and that ability to feel allows us to open to all the beauty and pain in our lives. I heard that, just like me, even the most "hardened" of criminals can enjoy a setting a sun. I'm willing to bet there is not one human alive who does not enjoy a delicious meal. And after listening to Fleet speak about this universality of our experience as a human, I'm willing to sit with the possibility that not only us as individuals, but us all, as a collective, can and will create the world of basic goodness.

As the moments of our time at Auschwitz crawl closer to being, I am working to maintain a sense of Basic Goodness, even in the face of such horrors. Of genocide.

I'll leave you with some words of wisdom Fleet said to me on the way to Moran (the medium security prison we volunteer and teach mindfulness in).
I said to Fleet, "I'm not really sure I really believe in this whole basic goodness of society."  I wanted, so desperately, to believe in this and was looking for someone to convince my doubting mind. His response to me was "If we don't believe in the basic goodness of society, how will anyone else?"

That was a perfect answer. He is right. Basic Goodness has to start here at home.