Tara Brach

‘Especially when things seem to be falling apart – we lose a job, suffer a serious injury, become estranged from a loved one – our lives can become painfully bound by the experience that something is wrong with us. We buy into the belief that we are fundamentally flawed, bad and undeserving of love… we forget our goodness and feel cut off from the heart. The Buddha taught, however, that no matter how lost in delusion we might be, our essence, our Buddha nature, is pure and undefiled… Basic goodness is the radiance of our Buddha nature – it is out intrinsic wakefulness and love.

This doesn’t mean that we can do no wrong. But in sharp contrast to our cultural conditioning as heirs of Adam and Eve, the Buddhist perspective holds that there is no such thing as an evil person. When we harm ourselves or others, it is not because we are bad, but because we are ignorant. To be ignorant is to ignore the truth that we are connected to all of life, and that grasping and hatred create more separation and suffering. To be ignorant is to ignore the purity of awareness and capacity for love that expresses our basic goodness.’ (Radical Forgiveness)

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