Buddha-nature – Potential for all sentient beings to attain liberation/enlightenment
Note: Sentient means able to perceive and feel things. Many animals are therefore also sentient.
Buddha took a nature (Buddha-nature) trail and noticed that most of the animals had lights glowing around them. These had all been enlightened. All sentient beings were capable of enlightenment.
Many Buddhists believe that everyone can achieve enlightenment because all humans have the nature of the Buddha within them already. It is like a seed within people that has the potential to grow.
This is referred to as Buddha-nature and means that people have the ability to become enlightened like the Buddha.
However, while some believe that Buddha-nature is a seed or potential that must be developed, others think Buddha-nature is completely present but obscured by our delusions.
Either way, Buddha-nature has to be actualised and experienced through practice.