“Most of us believe that the ultimate achievement on the spiritual path comes only after this life is over. We are stuck with these impure surroundings and bodies, therefore we must die in order to fully succeed. Only after death will we experience the divine or enlightened state. So the best thing we can do in this life is prepare for it; what we do now will determine whether we go to heaven or to hell.
Some people have already lost hope. They feel that they are inherently bad or evil, and don’t deserve to go to heaven—they are predestined for the netherworld.
Similarly, many Buddhists know intellectually that everyone has the same potential and the same nature as Gautama Buddha, yet emotionally they feel that they don’t have the qualities or abilities to gain access to the golden gates of enlightenment. At least not in this life.
For Siddhartha the ultimate resting place of heaven or nirvana isn’t a place at all—it’s a release from the straitjacket of delusion. If you demand that a physical place be specified, then it can be where you are sitting right now.”
~Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche