While religious traditions tend to some extent to be exclusive regarding our experience, the path of radical questioning is a universally inclusive process. In this, Buddhism invites us to take seriously our entire human existence, to take everything in our life “as the path.” It proposes that everything that ever happens to us is part of our journey toward realization. There is finally nothing that leads us away, no possibility of true regression, no actual mistake; everything is learning, opening, and moving forward, even when the opposite seems to be the case. This leads to a kind of fundamental and boundless optimism about what human life is and why we are here, and an underlying trust that runs through life’s most difficult circumstances. Perhaps it is unrealistic to expect that any tradition could ever hold such an overflowing optimism and joy in human life and its process, but Buddhism aspires to be the exception.
from Touching Enlightenment; Finding Realization in the Body
Chapter: The Ultimate Challenge of Buddhism