Spiritual FriendshipSpiritual Friends

Spiritual friendship is one of the cornerstones of the Triratna Buddhist Community and a vital part of our philosophy at Aryaloka. The Buddha himself insisted in the sutras that spiritual friendship was not just part of the spiritual life, but the whole of it. Buddhists need others in order to learn and to exchange support for each others’ practice. In our friendships, we have a chance to exercise patience, honesty, generosity, compassion and forgiveness.

The Western view of Buddhism can sometimes be one of only individual effort and rigorous intellectual study. However, this misses the importance and dynamism of our relationships with others on our spiritual path. In each other we find reflections of ourselves. If we look closely enough we will see our skilful and unskilful actions mirrored back to us. Therefore, our relationships are the proving ground of our Buddhist values – one of the places where the rubber meets the road.

Spiritual friendships elevate our relationships to a different level. In a spiritual friendship one aims to communicate with openness, trust, generosity, unity and compassion. Much effort at Aryaloka is put into deepening friendships between individuals based on a shared set of values and understanding.

This kind of friendship has a deeply positive effect on us as individuals, on our community, and on society as a whole. Ultimately, the microcosm of effective spiritual friendship, through interconnectedness, affects the macrocosm and benefits all sentient beings.

Opportunities to build spiritual friendships are everywhere at Aryaloka. Attending one of our Tuesday Sangha Nights is a great place to start meeting people and become a part of our community. Retreats and classes are a wonderful way to deepen friendships by spending a longer amount of time together practicing. Events allow all of us to come together in celebration and enjoy each others’ company. And volunteering for one of our many kulas brings generosity and unity to our relationships as we work toward a common goal.

More: Meditation