by Tim McKibben 

On page 746 of the Path to Enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism, Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden explains that the laziness of inadequacy is believing that you are not capable of attaining enlightenment.  

Despite our prayers to attain enlightenment, perhaps deep down many of us feel it is beyond us – because we are so ordinary! This lack of confidence prevents our practice from becoming a profound living force within. It precludes us from practicing with conviction, or with a life affirming joy that we have stumbled across such an awe-inspiring path.  

Conqueror Maitreya said “all embodied beings are ever endowed with the Tathagata essence”. Holy Gurus, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas obviously agree. For example, why would Lord Buddha give 84,000 Holy Dharmas and why would Geshe Loden spend 35 years teaching in Australia, and from the age of 67 write 9 extraordinary books – if we really couldn’t progress? 

We can gain confidence from our own experiences of learning. As babies we knew nothing of the world but look at how much we now know! Also, we see some progress in developing calmer minds with regular meditation practice. Logically, there is no inbuilt limit to how far any enlightened quality can be developed. Our patience or compassion can always be extended out further to another person until it encompasses everyone. 

The deepest part of ourselves – the very nature of mind – is clarity and awareness. It can know anything, just as a mirror can reflect anything once the surface is cleaned. Mind is unbounded, vast and spacious.  

Our minds are exactly the same nature as a Buddha’s mind. The empty nature of mind underpins the transformation into enlightenment. So, as countless ordinary people have awakened after developing conviction in the path, why hesitate? If the Buddhas say we can, who are we to say we can’t?   

For more information about Path to Enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism and the other eight Tushita Publications titles by the great scholar and meditator, Venerable Geshe Actuary Thubten Loden, click here.