Restlessness is an expression of Buddha Nature

The idea of buddha mind is not purely a concept or a theoretical, metaphysical idea. It is something extremely real that we can experience ourselves. In fact, it is the ego that feels that we have an ego. It is ego that tells us, “My ego is bothering me. I feel very self-conscious about having to be me. I feel that I have a tremendous burden in me, and I wonder what the best way to get rid of it is.” Yet all those expressions of restlessness that keep coming out of us are the expression of buddha nature: the expression of our unborn, unobstructed, and nondwelling nature.

-Chogyam Trungpa

If we face ourselves properly, fully, then we find that something else exists there, beyond facing ourselves. Something exists in us that is basically awake, as opposed to asleep. We find something intrinsically cheerful and fundamentally pride-worthy. That is to say, we don’t have to con ourselves. We discover genuine one hundred percent gold, not even twenty-four karat. According to the Buddhist tradition, that is discovering our buddha nature. In Sanskrit, buddha nature is tathagatagarbha, which means that the essence of the tathagatas, the buddhas who have already gone beyond, exists in us.

We are fundamentally awake. We ourselves are already good. It’s not just a potential. It’s more than potential. Of course, we will have hesitation again and again in believing that. You might think this goodness is just an old myth, another trick to cheer us up. But no! It is real and good. Buddha nature exists in us, and because of that, we are here. Your basic buddha nature brought you here.

-Chogyam Trungpa