11 Apr
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It’s Good to Have Good Friends

reallygoodfriendsAt our last meeting, one of my good friends in the Kalyana Mitta Group I belong to shared a lovely article written by Norman Fischer that I’d like to share with you, too. (Thanks Anne!) It’s from the May issue of Lion’s Roar magazine.

The article starts with a story about advice the Buddha gave to a meditator who wanted to practice alone in an especially beautiful and peaceful mango grove, but who found that his mediation was anything but beautiful and peaceful. (Probably because it was too self-centered.)

“Five things induce release of heart and lasting peace, the Buddha told him. “First, a lovely intimacy with good friends. Second, virtuous conduct. Third, frequent conversation that inspires and encourages practice. Fourth, diligence, energy, and enthusiasm for the good. And fifth, insight into impermanence.” 

The Buddha then went through the list again, this time preceding each of the other items with the first: “When there is a lovely intimacy between friends, then there is virtuous conduct,” etc.   

“In other words,” Fischer writes, “friendship is the most important element in the spiritual path. Everything else naturally flows from it…..

“In the Buddhist path, spiritual friendship takes place in the context of community….. It is less about personal connection than it is about helping one another grow in faith and goodness….

“Often the most unlikely people show up….people who under ordinary circumstances would never meet and spend weeks, maybe years, together. Yet this disparate group of people manages to find harmony, commonality, and deep mutual appreciation despite their differences. They come to share something more fundamental than their interests and affinities…”


I have found this to be true. Nothing is more lovely than the intimacy I have shared with spiritual friends.


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