2023-10-04-Gil-Ten Protectors (3 of 10) Good Spiritual Friends
4:58PM Oct 4, 2023
So, so we come to the third talk on that 10 protectors, The 10 supports or the 10 helpers. And depending on how we translate the word, not the the Pali word. And this is a teaching coming from the Buddha that appears in the numerical discourses, it's on that in that 10th Chapter, it's the discourse number 17. And what's provided is a list without much discussion, or any discussion about them. And but it's a wonderful list than in other places, these are discussed these these qualities are discussed in different ways. And then today, the protector is having good spiritual friends. The so the first was our own virtue. The second yesterday was what was it yesterday? Yeah, sometimes my mind doesn't work so fast sitting here, and already kind of my mind going with the next thing. But anyway, today, it's loving kindness. kalyānamitta. And the word Kali, Jana can mean? Beautiful, that's usually the first dictionary definition. And but it also refers to the kind of inner beauty from which virtue arises. ethical integrity arises, from which the disposition to be honest and truthful appears. And so someone who is a good spiritual friend at kalyānamitta is someone who is honest, someone who has kind of virtuous behavior and life. It's also meant to be it's also refers to someone who is a spiritual teacher, the Buddha was considered to be the great kalyānamitta, someone who opens the door for a spiritual life, life of the path of liberation, someone who knows it and supports others in doing this. And, and so the idea here is this, there are kuleana they're also they possess the certain kind of inner beauty, the ethical beauty, that is part of what they're pointing to as a possibility for, for you, for everyone else. And to have a few kalyānamitta has to have a few of these good spiritual friends, these beautiful spiritual friend friendships, is a great support for ourselves. It is and it's also a protection. The have good spiritual friends, who you are a little bit accountable to means that when you're about to do something that you don't quite feel good about. You remember your good spiritual friends? And would you want to tell them about what you're doing? Would you like, Would you like them to know about it? And if the answer is no, then as you'd probably be careful not to do it. Not that these good spiritual friends are policing you and say, you know, watching you and judging you if you do something that is not quite coming from this beautiful ethical place within. But the teachings of the Buddha there's he assumes that people have a natural desire to not do something that would be disapproved of just that. They're these good spiritual friends would disapprove of. That there would be a certain degree of, of, of kind of awkwardness or regret or, or kind of self, self. Not feeling good about oneself, if we're doing something that our good spiritual friends would disapprove of. So some of this, then is finding having good spiritual friends. And having those that not only can be someone that we trust, and someone we think is wise, but also someone may be who could encourage the practice and bring out the best qualities we have. In Buddhist teachings. A good spiritual friend is someone who supports us to develop the seven factors of awakening. These are some of the most beautiful qualities of heart that come out of you know, deep dharma practice, the cultivation or development of of present moment awareness, mindfulness, investigation, kind of delightful and wholesome effort and engagement in the practice, joy, tranquility. Samadhi, and equanimity. The Buddha said that the that the is a beautiful teaching I think of just as the sun, just as the dawn is the precursor to the rising sun. So, externally, the precursor or the, what's the heralding fourth, our own awakening is a good spiritual friend, externally it's good spiritual friends, and internally is our capacity to to, to have a deep profound form of contemplation, attention to our inner life. And this profound contemplation this profound kind of speaks to that we can have this inner beauty. And this is one of the word plays with around the word kalyānamitta. That usually, it probably means, you know, good spiritual friends we have externally. But it also can mean friendship with our own beauty, our own ethical integrity, and so that our own inner beauty can be a protection from for us, our own inner beauty, our own sense of ethical sense of sensibility, if we stay close to that, and that supports us, that protects us from doing things that we later regret. It protects us from being mean to people, for example, or hostile, prevent prevents us from actions that harm other people that we you know, that we somehow would later regret. There is a kind of guidance that we can receive internally for settled on ourselves, and settled and relaxed and connected to this, the softer this quiet place inside, that offers a clear kind of guidance, and living well living out as out of a sense of goodness and compassion and care. So whether we find a good spiritual friend externally that we stay in touch with enough that for me, when I was a new student in Buddhism, I was fortunate to have good spiritual teachers, who I didn't talk to regularly. But I saw them regularly. And they reminded me and just the fact that they were around, or that I went to their talks and different things, I felt, Oh, this is a support for me, this is reminds me to, to practice and really live from the best places from inside. And so to have good spiritual friends externally, and then to offer in yourself, discover a friendship with what is beautiful within, and to protect that to support that. Because it will, it will protect you. It will guide you, it will keep you close to what's really valuable and important. And it probably will, it makes life a lot simpler. Living on ethically lying, for example, and, and stealing and kind of doing things which are ethically questionable, tends to create a more complicated life. The little saying is that it's a bit better to be honest, because then there's less you have to remember, if we start lying, then you have to important to remember the lies to keep them going. And but when you're being honest, you know, you don't necessarily have to be remember what you said, because there's no there's no, you know, there's no need to keep the lie going. So a simpler life. So, inner simplicity of being an inner joy of being an inner beauty of being this kalyānamitta externally and internally is one of the great supports, and when we don't have it internally, then it can be really useful to have it externally and to have sangha members, other practitioners, other people who you feel are virtuous and have this inner beauty and to spend time with them to be around them to be reminded by them. That it is possible to be that way ourselves to be around them enough to be inspired by them. So that yes, I this is this is who I feel like I'm in When I immersed myself this is where I want to come from.
So, may you consider both the topic of your inner beauty and also who are the people in your life that live in such a way that your inspire inspires your beauty inside, who is truthful, who is ethically virtuous, who is has some quality of goodness that inspires you? It doesn't have to be a Buddhist but stay close to them. Let that let the your familiarity or contact with them, protect what is maybe most valuable in yourself. So thank you very much and continue tomorrow. Oh, yeah. So this the second quality that we talked about yesterday was learning much learning, learning about the dharma, learning about goodness through study. So virtue, learning, applying what we learn, and then today's good spiritual friends. Thank you