LAYPERSONS AND SIGNIFICANCE OF NOBLE FRIENDSHIP by Sumith Siriwardana

“And what is accomplishment in good friendship?

Katamā ca, byagghapajja, kalyāṇamittatā?

It’s when a gentleman resides in a town or village. And in that place there are householders or their children who may be young or old, but are mature in conduct, accomplished in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. That person associates with them, converses, and engages in discussion. And they emulate the same kind of accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom.

Idha, byagghapajja, kulaputto yasmiṃ gāme vā nigame vā paṭivasati, tattha ye te honti—gahapatī vā gahapatiputtā vā daharā vā vuddhasīlino, vuddhā vā vuddhasīlino, saddhāsampannā, sīlasampannā, cāgasampannā, paññāsampannā—tehi saddhiṃ santiṭṭhati sallapati sākacchaṃ samāpajjati; yathārūpānaṃ saddhāsampannānaṃ saddhāsampadaṃ anusikkhati, yathārūpānaṃ sīlasampannānaṃ sīlasampadaṃ anusikkhati, yathārūpānaṃ cāgasampannānaṃ cāgasampadaṃ anusikkhati, yathārūpānaṃ paññāsampannānaṃ paññāsampadaṃ anusikkhati.

This is called accomplishment in good friendship.
Ayaṃ vuccati, byagghapajja, kalyāṇamittatā. (3: 3)

https://suttacentral.net/an8.54/en/sujato 

VIPASSANA INSIGHTS Having an admirable friendship (Kalyanamitta) is our first step on the Dhamma path. The Buddha empathized the importance of admirable friendship by saying that the whole of the holly life depends on the admirable friends because they are the ones who teach us Dhamma or show us the Dhamma path. Without meeting them, it is difficult to come to the true Dhamma. The classic example of Ven. Sariputta at his lay life, shows how his life was changed once he met Ven. Assaji on his persuite of a Dhamma teacher. He never knew that he was going to be an arahant and the right handed disciple of Buddha and the foremost in wisdom until this meeting. In our lives too, we have met admirable friends who have helped us in many ways to find Dhamma.The classification of an admirable friend (AN 8.54) identifies gour qualities as ” he or she should be advanced in virtue, consummated in conviction (In the principle of Kamma), consummated in generosity and consummated in discernment. They are the guidelines in finding an admirable friend. The Buddha also warned that we should choose our companions wisely because if you choose evil companions as friends, they lead us to a loss, a loss of wealth because evil friends encourage us to go brothel houses, drinks and gambling.

MIND TRAINING- Choosing admirable friends (Dhamma friends) is vital in our Dhamma path.- When choosing admirable friends, we need to consider the four qualities taught by The Buddha such as virtue, conviction, generosity and discernment.- Train on the four qualities to find yourself as an admirable friend to your friends.- Avoid evil friends who pull you back from the Dhamma Path.

GUIDED MEDITATION

MEDITATION PLACE Find a secluded place. If you are at home, your room is fine but better at a time of less noisy and Busy.

RELAX After sitting comfortable on a cushion or pillow or floor, keep your knees in a way that they touch on the floor (Lotus position or half lotus position or Burmese way). However, if you have an ailment or a body pain, better sit on a comfortable position like a small chair.Place your hands on your lap and keep your right palm on top of your left palm. While looking at three feets in front, close your eyes.Relax and be aware that you are sitting now. Keep your mindful in front.

TRIPLE GEM (1-2 MIN) Take refuge in the Triple Gems.I take refuge in The BuddhaI take refuge in The DhammaI take refuuge in The Sanga”The Breath”Obser your breath mindfully. Better if you can identify the touching point near your nostrils. Some might feel at the tip of the nose and some might feel inside of the nose or on top of the nose, wherever you feel, keep your attention (Sati Nimmita) on there and allow your breath in and breath out. At the beginning, you might not feel the types of breath like long or short. But it is fine as long as you are aware of breath in and breath out. Advance practitioners can obser the types of breath.Recollection of the qualities of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha (Conviction)Recollection of BuddhaRecollect as ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.Recollection of DhammaRecollect Dhamma as ‘The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.Recollection of SanghaRecollect Sangha as The Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced well… who have practiced straight-forwardly… who have practiced methodically… who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.Recollection of the virtueRecollect of you virtues as I refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, laying and taking intoxications. Also, recollect that those who preserved virtues which were untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, conducive to concentration, have been born in a happy state. So by doing the same, I will also be born in a happy state with the company of virtuous beings.Recollection of GenerosityRecollect generous deeds you did for the well being of the Sangha and the community such as Alms givings, donations and charities. Also, recollect that those who did such generous deeds, have been born in a happy state, so by doing the same I will also be born in a happy state with the company of generous beings.

SELF Guided meditation- Contemplate “Admirable friendship” as a factor for the Dhamma Path.- Contemplate “Admirable friendship” for awakening.- Contemplate the four qualities of an admirable friend as a factor for association.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: