It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

When I was about six years old I received the essential bodhichitta teaching from an old woman sitting in the sun. I was walking by her house one day feeling lonely, unloved, and mad, kicking anything I could find. Laughing, she said to me, Little girl, don’t you go letting life harden your heart.

Right there, I received this pith instruction: we can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.


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