Romantic Enlightenment

The difficulty with finding resilience is that we first need to deeply look and be with the uncomfortable. Ultimately, the very things that cause us to break down are actually the supports for a breakthrough. To experience a breakthrough, however, we have to be willing to hold and to befriend what may be bringing internal strife.

Many times we want to do this in a safe way. In regards to our practice, this may manifest as configuring the teachings in a way that keeps us feeling comfortable. This may be in the way we practice or in being selective about the pieces of reality we choose to sit with, accept and process. In many ways, we want the romantic version of enlightenment: a sense of freedom along with an egoic safety net.

Enlightenment is the realization that we do not need a safety net. We must let ourselves free-fall. As a sage once said, “the bad news is that you are falling. The good news is that there is no ground.” Trust, faith, and devotion can buoy and support our practice long enough to experience this truth ourselves.

What is Buddhism?

“Buddhism is a statement of our intrinsic goodness; and the possibility of discovering that intrinsic goodness. This is the simple answer, but complex questions can arise from that. Giving a simple answer is not always that simple. When I use the word ‘goodness’, I am not using it in the sense of nicey-nicey goodness, or piety, or sanctity, or holiness – ‘goodness’ here relates to complete value. This goodness is the goodness of freshly baked bread; the goodness of seeing a field of sunflowers; the goodness of birth and death; the goodness of being present. There is a basic goodness, a basic sanity with which we can connect. We have that – we simply need to allow ourselves the non-referential space to find it.”

~ Ngak’chang Rinpoche

The Five Poisons

In Buddhism the term “five poisons” points to the five major negative emotions. When looking at resilience—the ability to hold what we have an aversion to—it is a good practice to look mindfully at these dis