Spiritual friends

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Spiritual friends

Postby sundara » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:41 pm

How can I go about finding spiritual friends. I live in Portugal and I don't have a temple nearby, there is none in 400 kms radius?
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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby zavk » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:26 pm

sundara wrote:How can I go about finding spiritual friends. I live in Portugal and I don't have a temple nearby, there is none in 400 kms radius?


Dear friend,

I do not attend a temple nor am I in regular face-to-face contact with other Buddhists. But I believe I have many spiritual friends here on Dhamma Wheel!

IMO, in the contemporary world, social networks have become viable alternatives to traditional models of community. And it seems to me that Buddhism is evolving together with this trend. Hence, we find lay people connecting up with one another through sites like Dhamma Wheel and Facebook, rather than through participation in 'congregations' (a somewhat old fashioned Christian idea of what counts as true 'spiritual community', I would say).

Please to meet you here, sundara! :anjali:
With metta,
zavk
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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby andrewuk » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:07 am

Hello,

I read it somewhere that they're trying to raise fund to build a monastery (forest tradition) in Portugal. (I think Amaravati in England is involved in this)

So hopefully, in the near future, you'll be able to go there.

You can also fly to England, Italy or other European countries where there is a monastery. (I live close to Chithurst Monastery if you want to visit, let me know)

Alternatively, we have many wonderful, knowledgeable and kind Dhamma friends here.

Best wishes to you!

Andrew
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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby Tex » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:16 am

sundara wrote:How can I go about finding spiritual friends. I live in Portugal and I don't have a temple nearby, there is none in 400 kms radius?


Like Zavk, I do not attend a temple regularly, nor are any of my "real-life" friends Buddhists.

But we all have a treasure chest of venerables and very learned lay Buddhists right here! There is plenty of guidance available online, we're very lucky to live in this time.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby BlackBird » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:50 am

zavk wrote:...viable alternatives to traditional models of community.


Viable, perhaps.
But equal? I don't think so.

"Traditional" models of community are vastly superior to the limited contact and association one can recieve over the internet.

... Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."1

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path."
...

- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The truth is, nobody here knows what I'm really like. You might have formed an opinion with the occasional fact and a picture of my face and said "that's what Blackbird is like" but that's not the reality of it because you don't see me arguing with my family, you don't see me when I'm angry, you don't see me wasting time playing tennis on xbox, nor do you see me picking my nose.

When you live with people, this is what you see.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:03 am

Hi Blackbird
BlackBird wrote:The truth is, nobody here knows what I'm really like. You might have formed an opinion with the occasional fact and a picture of my face and said "that's what Blackbird is like" but that's not the reality of it because you don't see me arguing with my family, you don't see me when I'm angry, you don't see me wasting time playing tennis on xbox, nor do you see me picking my nose.

When you live with people, this is what you see.


True, but how is that any different to those people we see at a temple or retreat?
Unless one lives with one's spiritual friends then there is going to be some selective 'knowing'.
Kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby BlackBird » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:20 am

Ben wrote:Hi Blackbird
BlackBird wrote:The truth is, nobody here knows what I'm really like. You might have formed an opinion with the occasional fact and a picture of my face and said "that's what Blackbird is like" but that's not the reality of it because you don't see me arguing with my family, you don't see me when I'm angry, you don't see me wasting time playing tennis on xbox, nor do you see me picking my nose.

When you live with people, this is what you see.


True, but how is that any different to those people we see at a temple or retreat?
Unless one lives with one's spiritual friends then there is going to be some selective 'knowing'.
Kind regards

Ben


Yeah you're right Ben. Call me old fashioned, I guess.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:45 am

I'm probably biased :tongue: but I think internet forums are a great place for kalyana mitta meetings and discussions. I still go to the face-to-face meetings at temples, but often find that the level and depth of discussion is often higher on online forums. Perhaps it is that many who go online are already well-read in the Suttas and some Pali, whereas at the temples there are more newbies? But both are good places to practice and discuss with spiritual friends.

:group:
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Re: Spiritual friends

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:20 am

Hi Blackbird
BlackBird wrote:Yeah you're right Ben. Call me old fashioned, I guess.

I wouldn't call you old fashioned! You're a very sincere practitioner and a great contributor here!
Your statement just made me think of my experience when I go on retreat, which are typically 10-day silent vipassana retreats. Also, I established a group-sit for my co-practitioners some years ago in central victoria, in part, out of a desire to give (and also to get!) the support that comes from other practitioners. For about three or four years the group of four of us would meet every Sunday to meditate and then to share tea afterwards. Out of that group of 'Dhamma friends', I became very close to one person who I would confide in.
Having said that, I have become very close with some friends here on Dhamma Wheel and even though the interrelationship here on Dhamma Wheel is mediated via technology, it shouldn't be underrated (which I am sure you are not doing). For the vast majority of us, we are on our own when it comes to practice and boards lke Dhamma Wheel et al, are extraordinarily valuable in providing support and sustenance for walking on the path.
Metta

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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