the practical buddhist : essentials

you’re perfect already…and you need some improvement

“You’re perfect already, just the way you are…and you could use some improvement.”

–Suzuki Roshi


I love this quote by Zen Master, Sukuzi Roshi because it speaks to the truth that we are already inherently awake, but we need some additional work to keep us there.

Likewise, another quote that made an impact on me this week was by Lodro Rinzler (what an awesome name, right?) in the Introduction to his book, Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing You & You’re Hungover Again:

“Straight off the bat, I should mention that I’m sort of a mess, but also okay.”

By ‘sort of a mess,’ Lodro is referring to his tendency to suffer and act confused, in spite of being ‘also okay,’ a reference to his innate awakening or Buddha-nature.

We’re Already Buddhas at our Core

Walking the Buddhist path is a moment-by-moment experience. It doesn’t lead to a destination. We won’t one day arrive at enlightenment or awakening. We are all awake/enlightened already.  We are already Buddhas at our core.

The two quotes above speak to our tendency to allow the societal pressures working in our lives to cloud our connection to our inner Buddha-nature and thus we sometimes act and feel confused; it’s dukha (suffering) at work.

But once we accept the knowledge that we are already a Buddha at our core, we can more easily shake off the dukha and ease back into Buddhahood. We do this through our meditation time, our mindfulness practice and our commitment to compassionate-kindness.

Our daily practice brings us back to our true nature.