In big Chan monasteries of China, there were no private bathrooms. When it was time for the monks to wash, the bodhisattvas filed into the bathhouse to bathe. When one has a spiritual friend, a spiritual intimate, a spiritual partner it can be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Pathû.' All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. Buddhism has come to the West through books, ideas, art, and meditation practice. Get even more Buddhist wisdom delivered straight to your inbox! When things are tough, having a trusted friend to help shoulder the burden makes survival not only infinitely more possible, but also much lovelier. But I believe it was what the Buddha had in mind when he taught that there is no element of the path more precious or more important than spiritual friendship. Norman Fischer is the founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation. In Buddhism, friendship is an extremely important factor, perhaps even more so than you might expect. The Buddha had a tremendous spiritual friendship with the being who became his wife in his final life, and who later became one of the bhikkhuni arhats, Yasodhara Rahulamata. We often think of spiritual teachers as parents or authority figures. Horizontal spiritual friendship, as I explained in the previous installment of this essay, is friendship between people who are at roughly the same level in following the path; that is, it is the friendship between companions on the path, and what unites them as spiritual friends is a common dedication to following the Buddhist path. Sign up for Lion’s Roar free email newsletters. Spiritual Friendship | The Buddhist Centre. What I call horizontal spiritual friendship is friendship between people who are at roughly the same level in following the path; this is the friendship between “partners” in following the path, and what unites them as spiritual friends is a common dedication to following the Buddhist path. Real friendship is profound. In the Mahayana Buddhist teachings, the bodhisattva clearly sees that no one can be happy or content while others are suffering. All you Chan worthies, how will you understand their saying, “Subtle feeling reveals illumination, and we have achieved the station of sons of Buddha.”. No one is free from the pandemic’s impact, including Lion’s Roar. Buddhism and Friendship, Subhuti, 2004. “Intimate Friends” is the title for chapter 25 of the Collection of Indicative Verses. Spiritual friendship (not just including friendship between peers) is also vital to Buddhism socially or collectively because it creates the Sangha. A Wisdom basic book. Grounded in the Buddha’s teachings on spiritual friendship, Radical Friendship shares seven strategies to help us embody our deepest values in all of our relationships. In what way is spiritual friendship the whole of spiritual life? His most recent book is The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path. In the Buddhist path, spiritual friendship takes place in the context of community. Talk 1 - What is the Spiritual Life? In what way is spiritual friendship the whole of spiritual life? As is well known, women were and still are not included as equals with men in Asian Buddhism. These two support each other. When Meghiya rushed back to report his confusing experience, Buddha was not surprised. The Buddha thought of the sangha as a harmonious group of spiritual friends looking out for one another’s welfare, living together in full equality for the spiritual development of each one. Then, for Meghiya’s further benefit, and to the cement the point, the Buddha goes 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,” et cetera. I cannot recommend this classic textbook on the history of Buddhism highly enough. “No, Ananda,” the Buddha told him, “having good friends isn’t half of the Holy Life. “Five things induce release of heart and lasting peace,” the Buddha told him. Ananda knew that having good and encouraging friends was very important for the path. Buddhism has come to the West through books, ideas, art, and meditation practice. “First, a lovely intimacy with good friends. Unable to stand the fullness of the other, we don’t want to discover and offer our own. Entering the bathhouse, we bow at the shrine and recite the bathing verse. And we do care about one another. Not so! How can we make friends? Spiritual friendship is the whole of the spiritual life - The Buddha. Spiritual friendship is a training in unselfishness, in egolessness. To be able to practice with good friends for five, ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years is a special joy. skip navigation free buddhist audio audio series meditation study texts community. And if I find I am lacking in tenderness, speaking what I consider to be truth out of defensiveness or separateness, I have to discern this. They come to share something more fundamental than their interests and affinities. They have courage, they take risks, and they speak from the standpoint of truthfulness, not expediency. Our intimacy was one in which others were always welcome. Often the most unlikely people show up in Buddhist communities, people who under ordinary circumstances would never meet and spend weeks, maybe years, together. The Buddha was the original spiritual friend, exemplifying for us that Enlightenment demands communication. Orange series. Sangharakshita maintains that in practising Buddhism we need other people to learn from. The most famous statement on friendship in Buddhism comes when the Buddha's cousin Ananda is said to have approached the Buddha and remarked "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie." This is seventy-eighth case of the Blue Cliff Record, a classical compendium of Zen stories: In olden times there were sixteen bodhisattvas. The Buddha made the importance of such relationships very clear. 39 Malcolm Place Campbellfield Victoria 3061 Australia [Phone: +61 3 9357 7266 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org We open ourselves to the other person, ready to notice any grudges that we have, or the opinions and obsessions we have about them, as well as the attractions towards them. E-mail: email@example.com: Name: Rick Location: England, U.K. Buddhist communities in the West are far from free of sexism and are overwhelmingly made up of white middle-class people. Lay Buddhist Practice: The Shrine Room, Uposatha Day, Rains Residence (1974) – Laurence Khantipalo Mills. Spiritual friendship is the whole of the spiritual life - The Buddha. Recorded at the Swedish Summer Retreat at Dharmagiri, July 2019. The month long series is based upon this quote from the Buddha - "Spiritual Friendship is the whole of the spiritual life." Yet this disparate group of people manages to find harmony, commonality, and deep mutual appreciation despite their differences. Our community is dedicated to supporting the development of spiritual friendship among those who wish to experience the benefits of Buddhist practice and meditation and believe that it can make a constructive contribution to the modern world. Good friendship is more than just personality compatibility. The Meghiya Sutta is my favorite Pali text about friendship. It is interesting that for years I always used to quote it as: 'Spiritual friendship is the whole of the Holy Life', but the Buddha was making a play on words - he was also saying that it is not just having spiritual friends that is the whole of the Holy Life, but our affiliation, our intimacy with the Lovely, with the Ultimate Truth. Short and readable, yet thorough and precise, this must-read covers the entire history of Buddhism in a couple hundred, lively pages. The usual English translation is devotion, hence the term guru-devotion. Don’t strive for money. [Ud: 25.5.–6; P992: 98.3.3.–7.] It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. The other aspect of spiritual friendship is what I call … The Triratna Buddhist Order is the focal-point of the community, and is a network of friendships between individuals who have made personal commitments to the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha, in communion with others. Good friendship is more than just personality compatibility. And that's what's different about spiritual friends. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org People new to Buddhism often take the Dharma to be a purely individual path of spiritual development. Because we were such good friends, others were encouraged and inspired to be good friends too. Sangha … High quality Buddhism gifts and merchandise. blog donate about us buddhism. But the more we are established in our practice, the more we understand that the support our spiritual friends provide is the most fundamental and the most healing kind: gentle encouragement to awaken. (Mangala Sutta [Sn 2.4] tr. In other words, most friendship falls short of the spiritual friendship the Buddha is referring to in the Meghiya Sutta and Emerson takes as his ideal. “What a disappointment is actual society!” Real friendship, he says, includes the depth of solitude of each of us. People new to Buddhism often take the Dharma to be a purely individual path of spiritual development. This is completely obvious to the bodhisattvas. This is normal and healthy. Spiritual friends are honest with one another. Constructive behaviour in Buddhism is to th… Seeking: Would like to meet people into meditation and the Buddhist way of life. Why do so many discussions of Buddhism overlook it? Our sincere wish is that these Buddhist teachings, guided practices, and stories can be a balm in these difficult times. In spiritual friendship, we can actually be with each other. This friendship is built on a deep respect for the teacher's knowledge and the student's potential, and, through this respect and friendship, the two individuals learn constructive behaviour. He can be identified by four things: by telling you their secrets, guarding your … Spiritual friendship (kalyana mittata) is equally beneficial to the disciples of the Buddha’s doctrine, whether they are monastic or lay disciples, who may belong to any one of the four groups of Buddhist disciples. Constructive behaviour in Buddhism is to think, speak, and behave in a constructive way towards life, leading to personal happiness, and, then, to enlightenment. To be sure, this ideal isn’t always practiced very well. When Alan went on to become a rabbi we continued our spiritual friendship, founding a Jewish meditation center (that I still direct, in his name and memory) in San Francisco. We rely significantly on advertising and newsstand sales to support our work — both of which have dropped precipitously this year. Thank you all! We still practice like this at Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery. I compose music in my spare time. Having good friends is the whole of the Holy Life.”. Still, even as things stand now, we can rejoice in the wholesomeness and inclusivity of our sangha friendships. free buddhist audio offers free mp3 downloads of lectures and talks on buddhism and meditation. This is the second talk in a four part series on Spiritual Friendship given at the San Francisco Buddhist Center. Why do so many discussions of Buddhism overlook it? To this day, Buddhism retains this emphasis on equality and inclusion. Saccanama explores the three myths of spiritual life, that of self-development, that of self-surrender, and that of self-discovery. Display search results per page Display . In sangha life, friendship develops much more slowly. With a Little Help From My Friends - Spiritual Friendship In the Context of Team Based Right Livelihood The penultimate talk in the second series of 'Year of Kalyana Mitrata talks' from the Cambridge Buddhist … :) Pins about Spiritual Friendship & The Third Jewel with the goal of learning how to help one another in our Practice and our lives. His practice and loving heart was, and remains, my inspiration. Fourth, diligence, energy, and enthusiasm for the good. Ananda approached him and said, ‘This is half of the holy life, Lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.’ The Buddha replied, ‘Don't say that, Ananda. Maybe we think of them as coaches or trainers. It never depends on division or discrimination between people. This talk is part of the series ‘To Place the Heart Upon’ - Exploring Faith in Buddhism. A two day retreat on zoom, with Amaragita. No doubt this is an ideal we can never completely realize. 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