_____________________________________ Realisation: True Meaning of Spiritual Friendship Dedicated to all friends lost, found and to be found I have a friend.Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2004View Source_____________________________________
Realisation: True Meaning of Spiritual Friendship
Dedicated to all friends lost, found and to be foundI have a friend. Though we were not exactly close, we were able to pour our woes to each other, confiding in each other of matters worldly and spiritual. As time went by, our different commitments divided us, and we contacted each other less and less. One night, I saw her at a bus-stop across the street. I waved a little. But she did not react. The next few times, we met by chance for fleeting moments. On catching sight of each other, we "froze up". It was always the same awkward silence... Did she hear something that made her change her opinion of me or did she...? I assumed I had lost a friend - through reasons I did not know though. It saddened me greatly.
One day, I bumped into her again. Burning with curiosity of what went wrong, I plucked the courage to ask her for a chat. To our mutual surprise, we were both all along feeling puzzled about each other's behaviour. There was no misunderstanding between us - other than thinking each had some misunderstanding about the other! Miscommunication due to lack of communication! It turned out that she was short-sighted and could not see me clearly at the bus-stop. And we froze at the sight of each other simply because we were caught by every surprise meeting, and that time apart made it difficult to start talking, as we waited for each other to say the first line. Casting our preconceived ideas aside, we rekindled our friendship.
The path of the Bodhisattva is of open embrace of all beings in our lives. There are no enemies; the real enemy of our spiritual friendship with all is our deluded understanding about each other. If we take time to put our pride aside and communicate sincerely, we will discover that everyone is in search of true friendship. All cold wars only melt with the warmth of trust and understanding. The distance between each other only needs our loving-kindness. Let us be more open and forgiving - for old times' sake, and for all time's sake!
The reconcillation brought me new understanding on the meaning of "spiritual friendship". As I searched the web on it, I found this : "One day Ananda, his closest disciple, came up to the Buddha and said: 'Lord, I think that half of the of the Holy Life is spiritual friendship, association with the Lovely.' And the Buddha replied: 'That's not so; say not so, Ananda. It is not half of the Holy Life, it is the whole of the Holy Life. ...The Pali word for 'friendship with the Lovely' is kalyanamitta. 'Kalyana' means 'lovely' or beautiful and 'mitta' means 'friend'. So it is often translated as association or affiliation with the Lovely, being an epithet for Ultimate Reality or the Unconditioned. ...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. These two support each other. Our like-minded companions and associates in spiritual life support our effort, but it is actually our ability to awaken to that which is truly Lovely, to the Wonderful, to Ultimate Reality - that is, in its own way, the very fire of our spiritual life." (see full article) Spiritual friendship is any relationship that leads us to greater discovery of our spirituality, deepening our compassion and wisdom. It struck me that in resolving our misunderstanding, we made inches of advancement towards learning to further truly spiritually befriend others. With an open heart and mind, we discovered a minor truth - that of the imperfection of perception, and saved our friendship. Discovery of minor truths about ourselves will lead us to the Ultimate Truth. Being true to all will lead us to the Truth of all. If we bear unfound grudges based on misunderstanding against our very own friends, how can we ever, like Bodhisattvas, befriend the world, and come close to befriending the "Lovely Ultimate Truth"? Since every friendship we make or break is part of our whole Holy Life, may we be good friends with all! -shian
Any comments? Please share with us @ comment@...
Contribute your article or your thoughts on the above | RealizationArchive
9 Responses to "A Matter of Life & Death: Contemplating Suicide"