‘We can view our human nature as being defiled and deluded, as Augustine might point out. Or we can view our nature as compassionate and loving. So then maybe we should add an “s” and talk about “natures.” I believe it is more skillful to try to get people to focus on and cultivate the positive. In the Therevada sutras, the Buddha describes the nature of the mind this way, “Luminous is the mind, brightly shining is its nature, but it is colored by the attachments that visit it.” [AN 1.49-51] I’ve found that pointing people to their fundamental goodness will awaken it. It is more skillful than pointing out the negative. We are so loyal to our suffering and to seeing ourselves as damaged that it’s very easy to use spiritual practice to reinforce our self-judgement. That doesn’t help people become liberated.’
- Jack Kornfield, Tricyle: The Buddhist Review, Summer 2008.