From Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching: “Everyone has a seed of faith, or confidence…If you have friends who water this seed in you, it will grow strong. But if you meet only favorable conditions, you will not realize how precious this seed is. Obstacles along the path can help our determination and compassion grow. Obstacles teach us about our strengths and weaknesses, so that we can know ourselves better and see in which direction we truly wish to go. One could say that the Buddha’s practice of austerity was unfavorable to the development of his path, but if he had not undertaken those practices and failed in them, he would not have learned and later taught the Middle Way. When your intention is strong, unfavorable conditions will not dishearten you. In difficult moments, you will stick to your friends, fortify your convictions, and not give up”


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