by 17th Karmapa
We tend to think of the Buddha as someone with great powers – a kind of Superman with superpowers who will come to protect us and save us when something terrible happens. But who is the real superhero? You are. Superman is not the Buddha. You are. Who is your protector? You are. What is your greatest power? It is the power of your noble motivations. Karmic cause and effect teaches us that each one of us is a person with tremendous power to change the world. Therefore, you should value yourself and trust in your own abilities. This is a key point in order to be able to take up great responsibilities, through your noble aims and intentions.
For this reason, we should not always be expecting something outside ourselves to intervene, as if we were entreating the buddhas and bodhisattvas, “Please bless me so that good things happen to me.” We make continual requests to the teacher or lama to grant us their blessings. But sometimes the lama’s battery is finished! So many people want to recharge from the lama that even the biggest battery can run down. There are also people who did something good in the past and now expect something good to be done to them.
I think it is very important not just to wait for the external buddhas and teachers. We also need to understand that we have an inner Buddha or an inner teacher. That means we need to be the ones who make the effort. We need to create the opportunities, or produce the good energy, without always waiting for someone to arrive and intervene from the outside. I think it is very important to produce this by yourself, because, actually, you are the Buddha. Not such an effective buddha, perhaps, but… a buddha, a small Buddha. Our Buddha is like a child, not yet grown up enough to do more, so we need to nurture our inner Buddha, our child Buddha.