When we say Buddha, we naturally think of the Indian prince Gautama Siddhartha who reached enlightenment… Buddha, however, has a much deeper meaning. It means a person, any person, who has completely awakened from ignorance and opened to his or her vast potential of wisdom. A buddha is one who has brought a final end to suffering and frustration, and discovered a lasting and deathless happiness and peace.
But for many of us in this skeptical age, this state may seem like a fantasy or a dream, or an achievement far beyond our reach. It is important to remember always that Buddha was a human being, like you or me. He never claimed divinity, he merely knew he had the buddha nature, the seed of enlightenment, and that everyone else did too.
The buddha nature is simply the birthright of every sentient being, and I always say, “Our buddha nature is as good as any buddha’s buddha nature.” This is the good news that the Buddha brought us from his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, and which many people find so inspiring. His message—that enlightenment is within the reach of all—holds out tremendous hope. Through practice, we too can all become awakened. If this were not true, countless individuals down to the present day would not have become enlightened – Sogyal Rinpoche