CREDOS: Loving kindness — II

Our deepest happiness is intrinsic to the nature of our minds, and it is not damaged through uncertainty and change. The word “defilement” is a common translation of the Pali word kilesa, which more literally translated means “torment of the mind.” We know directly from our own experience that when certain states arise strongly within us, they have a tormenting quality — states such as anger, fear, guilt, and greed. When they knock at the door and we invite them in, we lose touch with the fundamentally pure nature of our mind, and then we have to suffer endlessly.

By not identifying with these forces, we learn that these defilements or torments are only visitors for a short while only. They do not reflect who we really are. The defilements, or the kilesas, inevitably arise because of how we have been conditioned. But this is no reason to judge ourselves harshly. Our challenge is to see them for what they are and to remember our true nature. We can understand the inherent radiance and purity of our minds by understanding metta. Like the mind, metta is not distorted by what it encounters.

Metta is its own support, and thus it is free of unstable conditions. The loving mind can observe joy and peace in one moment, and then grief in the next moment, and it will not be shattered by the change. A mind filled with love can be likened to the sky with a variety of clouds moving through it — some light and fluffy, others ominous and threatening. —