This is the heart of mindfulness. I remember the first time I read the Rinpoche on this it fell into my mind like a stone into a pond, and the ripples keep on rippling. This idea has become the heart of whatever meager practice I have. Sometimes in life it is all I have to hold on to: breathe in/breathe out, be aware of simple goodness. In those instances the Idea of Goodness reminds me of the Tao (“Best to be like water”), which seems slight and simple and fragile, but which has an amazing staying power. No matter what is happening, however trivial or however fantastic, however positive or however horrible, basic goodness endures. It’s all we ever really have. I hope when I am dying it is my last conscious act: awareness and acknowledgement of basic goodness.
“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, but we are speaking here of the basic goodness of being 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 goodness. 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 take a fraction of a second, but they are real experiences of goodness.” –Chogyam Trungpa