• Tali

Heart Mind

Updated: Mar 7

Bodhicitta: A Warriors Journey Towards Enlightenment and Compassion

Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park, California


When I was about six years old I received the essential bodhicitta 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.”


"The Awakening of the Inner Heart through suffering is the first steps down the path of compassion. As bodhisattva warriors, fear is our weapon for transcending the illusionary self and connecting once again with the oneness of the Universe." Tali

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.

If we were to ask the Buddha, “What is bodhicitta?” he might tell us that this word is easier to understand than to translate. He might encourage us to seek out ways to find its meaning in our own lives. He might tantalize us by adding that it is only bodhichitta that heals, that bodhichitta is capable of transforming the hardest of hearts and the most prejudiced and fearful minds.

Chitta means “mind” and also “heart” or “attitude.” Bodhi means “awake,” “enlightened,” or “completely open.” Sometimes the completely open heart and mind of bodhichitta is called the soft spot, a place as vulnerable and tender as an open wound. It is equated, in part, with our ability to love. Even the cruelest people have this soft spot. Even the most vicious animals love their offspring. As Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche put it, “Everybody loves something, even if it’s only tortillas.”


Pema Chodron

About Me

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Andrew Talbot (Tali) is based on the West Coast Vancouver Island, British Columbia for the warmer months where he works as a Visual Artist and Tree Planter. Drawing inspiration from a lifetime of coastal adventures, his art, music and woodworking is deeply rooted in the connection he shares with the ancient forests, ocean and mountains that surround his Pacific North-West home.

 

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