Tomorrow we will continue with our discussion around relationships. We will look at our relationship with friends. I have always thought this was a strange category for Metta. Mostly because it seems to create a distinction with people who are our friends from people who are not our friends. This group seems very different to me because it is the only category that we do the selecting. Meaning that we don’t select our Benefactors – they select us. We don’t select our Family – were born into them. We don’t select the Neutral Person – they are random occurrences and/or specifically people we don’t know. Finally, it may seem like we select the Difficult Person but it feels more like we are responding more than making someone difficult. (when we get to this category we’ll explore this more).
Friends, however, we clearly pick. We each decide if we are going to be friends with another. So why would it be included in a Metta category? The more I contemplate this, the more friends seem to actually be energetically part of every category. We seem to go through more ups and downs with friends than any other group. In fact, we can see the Three Characteristics (impermanence, suffering and the non-personal) in relationship to our friends clearer than with any other group of people.
Consider your life from the viewpoint of the friends you’ve had; even the times when you thought you didn’t have any friends. What does it tell you? How have you changed? Which came first the change in you or the change in friends? Is there really a difference between acquaintances and friends? How many best friends have you had? Can you truly say you have good friends? And if so, do they remain as such? Why do our friendships change?
In Metta, we pick a friend and stay with the same person so we can connect with the ups and downs, changes and turnarounds. Let’s explore what this would do to the idea of friendship. See you tomorrow
P.S. I still have the Dana for Ashin Vimala. If anyone wanted to give but didn’t have it last week I can collect it tomorrow. Thanks for last week’s generosity!