Well, at least the pre-enlightened Buddha anyway. I suffer, I practice, I have determination. Very much of the same qualities and difficulties that the Buddha had. In fact, probably all of the same ones. After all, Buddha was just a human being like the rest of us.
But one day, the light came on for him. Enlightenment. He saw, understood, and accepted all things just as they are. Voilà!
For some, this may sound like a lofty goal. Perhaps even unrealistic.
But I have come far enough along this path that I can taste the reality of this. Even if it’s only in brief moments and tiny glimpses, I see the contentment and universal love that exists in this life. And I am also aware the grasping for this is also a pitfall. The same type of pitfall that can be experienced in trying to attain jhana’s (levels of meditative states).
But in studying the life and teachings of the Buddha, I see that it was not a quick journey to enlightenment. He experimented, questioned and discerned everything. But always, he remained determined in his quest. He had patience and conviction to experience this life without boundaries or delusion.
And I can see that I am the one who creates these boundaries and delusions in my own mind. I am limited only by my own ignorance (avijja), not because of anyone else’s doing.
So how do I, or anyone else, pursue and remain steadfast on this course or path to awakening?
In my opinion, it is with saddha. Saddha being a Pali word for faith, but actually meaning something very different from religious faith. Saddha meaning confidence and conviction founded in virtue, humility and gentleness.
And it is with this understanding of saddha that I remain determined in my practice. Always remembering to love and be kind to myself first. Even learning to enjoy every step of the journey without concern of the destination. Moment by moment I can breathe and be present to this experience and this life. And this is the only way that I may be available to awakening. I have to be here right now.
I hope you can see that I am the Buddha. And I also hope you can see that you are the Buddha too.
Breath by breath, present and filled with loving-kindness, compassion and equanimity, we become Buddha’s. Sharing the joy of others happiness, having gratitude, giving with your heart, and mindful of your thoughts, words and actions. Like a lotus flower growing from the mud to bathe in thew sunlight, right now you are becoming.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.