Or when we speak about the Sambogakaya, the bliss body of the Buddha, which is part of bringing this dharma into the world. At this moment, Buddha realizes that pleasure is not something to be feared or avoided, the way he did during the six years of asceticism, but something quite valuable.

In his teachings, Buddha brings pleasure to light and speaks of how it needs to be cultivated, how pleasure needs to suffuse your being, drench every cell of your body and mind as you deepen your appreciation of the seated practice. There is a basic pleasure in being intimate with yourself and with all things. Equanimity, acceptance, the bright spacious nature of mind is pleasurable— but not pleasurable in the way that we normally think of it.

Buddha’s childhood memory brings up a tremendously important question about where our capacity to see clearly arises from. To be genuine and effective, does it need to arise from a place of contentment? Insight cannot be an attack to gain some territory; it can’t be a justification, nor an apology, nor something that completes what is already completed and fulfilled. Buddha remembers a state that was somehow intrinsically his right from the beginning. He remembers a peace and pleasure that came, not from striving for something, but from a natural way of being in the world.