On the spiritual path we speak of enlightenment. But how do we reconcile the idea of enlightenment with what we see when we look in the mirror—when insecurities, doubts, and self-centered tendencies arise in our minds? Dzigar Kongtrül suggests that we need not feel “doomed” when these experiences surface. In fact, such experiences are not a problem if we are able to simply let them arise without judging them or investing them with so much meaning. This approach to experience is what Kongtrül calls self-reflection.

Self-reflection is a practice, a path, and an attitude. It is the spirit of taking an interest in that which we usually try to push away. When we practice self-reflection we take liberation into our own hands and accept the challenge and personal empowerment in Kongtrül’s title: it’s up to you.