I have found this expression “That’s the nature”, to be a very common one used by Bhante Sujatha. Now while I know this may not be proper english, I think it explains so much quite eloquently.
This is his way of explaining that situations and people are constantly changing, and all things in nature have their natural characteristics. We humans are very much a part of nature, of all things. And just as the winds nature is to sometimes blow, and the clouds nature is to let go of the rain, we too have our very own nature. But this for me often begs the question if one can change their nature. So are we predetermined to have a certain nature and character, and there is little we can do to change it? Or are we, as humans, more malleable and able to change that which seems innate?
I cannot judge anyone else, or try to determine someone else’s nature or character, so I will attempt to evaluate “the David”.
Looking back on my life, I have certainly gone through so many stages, and evolutions. From bad boy to good boy, highly religious to extremely atheist and so on. My external image has changed from “Greaser” to “Hippy” to businessman to Husband, Dad and finally Grandpa. And how I look at things has changed even more frequently with each passing year. But through all of these changes, has my nature changed? Personally, I have to say I don’t think so. But I do see clearly that my practice has developed all of the qualities which have always been present in my character. Little by little, negative and harmful thoughts, words and actions have gradually evaporated. What remains, is the exposing of positive qualities and kamma that I believe have always been present in my nature. And being that I can only base what I think by my own experience, I have confidence that positive and loving qualities exist in each and every one of us. Perhaps lying dormant for many years, and inhibited by difficult circumstances in our lives, but still present and available if given the opportunity to develop.
Practicing loving-kindness to the self is the best way to begin this journey of discovery. Seeing and accepting the loving, compassionate, accepting nature that is within you. And it seems clear to me, that the more I am able to love and accept the self, the more I have this compassion and equanimity for all those around me. To develop this for all beings, and all nature that we are so clearly an integral part of.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.