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. Practicing Buddhism View more Daily Practice The basic Buddhist practice of Soka Gakkai members is chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, reciting portions of the Lotus Sutra and sharing the teachings of Buddhism with others in order to help them become happy. In other words, friendship is the most important element in the spiritual path. When two people's loving friendship includes a significant spiritual element they become what the Buddha called kalyàõa mitta and their relationship is called kalyàõa mittatà. 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. We bathe silently and then put on our robes for service. People new to Buddhism often take the Dharma to be a purely individual path of spiritual development. Sitting chest-deep in the tub, they must have looked around at one another with beautiful smiles of acknowledgment, saying, no doubt, nothing at all. The monastics went to a common bathhouse to bathe and use the toilet. Community and friendship is all the more important as western society becomes increasingly fragmented – with so many people living isolated from one another, whether in ‘nuclear’ families, or as individuals living alone. Fourth, diligence, energy, and enthusiasm for the good. Often the most unlikely people show up in Buddhist communities, people who under ordinary circumstances would never meet and spend weeks, maybe years, together. A kalyàõa mitta is the ideal friend and kalyàõa mittatà is the supreme human relationship. “It is my heartfelt wish, in writing about spiritual friendship, to share with others something that has enriched beyond measure my own life as a Buddhist. As is well known, women were and still are not included as equals with men in Asian Buddhism. What is the difference between vertical and horizontal friendship? Together we go forth to do what needs to be done. He described 4 different types of friends we meet and should seek: the helper, the friend who endures in good times and bad, the mentor, and the compassionate friend. We hear our groans, our fatigue, the ways we cope when we don’t have our usual social strategies available. They are people who see us as we are, love us anyway, and care absolutely for our ultimate welfare. The schedule provided for bath time, when everyone filed into the bathhouse to take a bath together in the big tub. For all those years, Alan supported, loved, and respected me more than I supported, loved, and respected myself. The other aspect of spiritual friendship is what I call … See more ideas about buddhism, buddhist, bhikkhu. We rely significantly on advertising and newsstand sales to support our work — both of which have dropped precipitously this year. Listen to some great talks on the practice of spiritual friendship. How can we make friends? To his shock, he found his mind a snarl of malicious, lustful, and confused thoughts—probably because his practice was too self-involved. *** Help keep FBA free for everyone! Then again, you may not know us at all. In big Chan monasteries of China, there were no private bathrooms. This is called Kalyana-mittata in Pali or Kalyana-mitrata in Sanskrit. How is it distinguished from ordinary friendship? But that isn’t the case with spiritual friendship. Talk 1 - What is the Spiritual Life? But we don’t hear so much about friendship. This is a West Coast Sangha Retreat for Seattle, Vancouver, Friendships Not associating with fools, Associating with the wise, Honoring those worthy of honor; This is the greatest blessing. Thus the new western Buddhism would do well to emphasize not only austerity but also other stereotypically masculine virtues such as self-responsibility; the prioritizing of freedom before security, and of truth before friendship; the love of a great, or even a Herculean challenge; fearlessness; and a greater emphasis on the goal of cessation of delusion before the cessation of suffering. Display search results per page Display . As you ripen and age, you appreciate the nobility and uniqueness of each friend, the twists and turns of each life, and the gift each has given you. I appreciate the truth and beauty of this teaching more and more as the years go by. free buddhist audio offers free mp3 downloads of lectures and talks on buddhism and meditation Why do so many discussions of Buddhism overlook it? Enshrined on the bathhouse altar is a picture of the sixteen bodhisattvas in the bath. A Wisdom basic book. Namaste! We are looking for something from the other person—entertainment, sympathy, some kind of support. They imagine that the only correct way to follow the Dharma is to lock oneself up in one’s room, turn off the lights, and devote all one’s efforts to practising meditation. Talk 2 - What is "Spiritual Friendship" and how does it differ from "ordinary friendship"? Exactly where is not always easy to know but making ongoing contact with others of similar aspiration is virtuallly essential if one is to sustain any kind of spiritual life. Emerson and the Buddha both believe that spiritual friendship requires two elements: truth and tenderness. Still, even as things stand now, we can rejoice in the wholesomeness and inclusivity of our sangha friendships. Not a church-goer, no believer in hellfire or other such ideas. In an uncanny way, my friendship with Rabbi Lew was not exclusive. Ananda asked the Buddha whether having noble friends and companions wasn’t… When my friends go astray, at least as far as I can see, I must speak up. Buddhism has come to the West through books, ideas, art, and meditation practice. He believes that our relationships with teachers and fellow practitioners must be characterised by honesty and clear communication. We [...], © 2020 Lion's Roar | Email: [email protected] | Tel: 902.422.8404 | Published by Lion's Roar Foundation, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). I can receive a true friend’s criticism with loving-kindness because it comes from a loving heart seeking only my benefit and well- :). Because we were such good friends, others were encouraged and inspired to be good friends too. Parents and children are too blinded by the psychological weight of their connection to see one another with fully open appreciation. We can have many dear spiritual friends. “What a disappointment is actual society!” Real friendship, he says, includes the depth of solitude of each of us. The teachings can make it sound like that. Real friendship is profound. In Buddhism, friendship is an extremely important factor, perhaps even more so than you might expect. In the Buddhist path, spiritual friendship takes place in the context of community. 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. You can trust your friends to look after your interests more than you can trust yourself, he writes. You share everything with your friend or friends. 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. No doubt this is an ideal we can never completely realize. Buddhism and Friendship, Subhuti, 2004. It’s not unusual to be in a community with someone who pushes all your buttons. 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. He was especially interested in the friendships we make, because those form our environment and influence us. Sangharakshita would like spiritual community – particularly the Order he himself founded – to be a ‘network of friendships’. They have courage, they take risks, and they speak from the standpoint of truthfulness, not expediency. But in Buddhism we practice together, awaken together, and understand together. I need to keep my peace until I am ready to speak with love. Real friendship is always spiritual. … The Buddha was the original spiritual friend, exemplifying for us that Enlightenment demands communication. ; In Society In this section you can find information about the Soka Gakkai’s activities to promote peace, culture and education, both through the initiatives of local organizations and through engagement with the United Nations. 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. This is especially true in the Soto Zen tradition I practice, which emphasizes meditation as a shared activity over a long period of time. Then we can enter more into the place of listening, of forgiving, of letting go of the past and just being open to the present. Siblings usually fight with one another. “Intimate Friends” is the title for chapter 25 of the Collection of Indicative Verses. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path. The enduring friend. You speak to them kindly and affectionately, and show concern for their welfare, especially their spiritual welfare. In the Buddhist path, spiritual friendship takes place in the context of community. Buddhism, he argues is best ‘caught’ not taught. In this essay about friendship, I too am giving testimony and memorial to my own great friend of more than forty years, the late Rabbi Alan Lew. You will have to deal with this person in ways you never would have, if left to your own devices. Constructive behaviour in Buddhism is to think, speak, and behave in a constructive way towards life, leading to personal happiness, and, then, to enlightenment. In addition to meditation, however, we need skillful actions, to defang the beast of predatory capitalism and to replace the cruelty with caring, responsive, protective alternatives. It never depends on division or discrimination between people. The whole of the spiritual life is THIS.” In spiritual friendship, we can actually be with each other. You will treat them with full respect and affectionate regard, and they will treat you the same way. How does it support our spiritual growth? And we do care about one another. Seeking: Would like to meet people into meditation and the Buddhist way of life. This is the nature of spiritual friendship. Bath time is late afternoon, after work and before evening service and dinner. Kindness, respect and shared joy in Dharma are the stuff these friendships are made of. We still practice like this at Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery. This is completely obvious to the bodhisattvas. But in the meantime, we slowly get to know one another intimately in the silent space of the meditation hall. Still, with luck, we may have, as I have had, a spiritual relationship that is uniquely precious to us. To be able to practice with good friends for five, ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years is a special joy. Don't say that. Friendships Not associating with fools, Associating with the wise, Honoring those worthy of honor; This is the greatest blessing. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. His practice and loving heart was, and remains, my inspiration. Sangharakshita emphasises a vital dimension that has been rather neglected in some quarters: human communication and friendship. This is seventy-eighth case of the Blue Cliff Record, a classical compendium of Zen stories: In olden times there were sixteen bodhisattvas. A teacher’s job is to model spiritual friendship. Spiritual friendship is the whole of the spiritual life - The Buddha. They are for one another even more than a person can be for themself. Norman Fischer is the founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation. Life in a sangha is built on teaching, dedicated meditation practice, and a shared commitment to going beyond self-interest and personal need. The early Buddhist sangha was radical in its insistence that anyone, prince or pauper, could join and be fully accepted and equally loved. 39 Malcolm Place Campbellfield Victoria 3061 Australia [Phone: +61 3 9357 7266 Email: email@samadhivihara.org.au Third, frequent conversation that inspires and encourages practice. 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