Fall Day-Long Retreat

We had a lovely day together yesterday. Twenty of us gathered among the pines on Heinz & Teresa’s peaceful land. Thank you all for being there and making the day. Here’s the story of the Buddha’s eager young monk who joined the Buddha’s sangha named Meghiya. Meghiya decided to practice meditation alone in an especially peaceful and beautiful mango grove. But rather than his meditations being peaceful and beautiful, his mind was filled with malicious, lustful, and confused thought. When Meghiya rushed back to report his confusing experience, Buddha was not surprised. He took the opportunity to give Meghiya what he must have hoped was a relevant teaching. Five things induce release of heart and lasting peace,” the Buddha told him. “First, a lovely intimacy with good friends. Second, virtuous conduct. Third, frequent conversation that inspires and encourages practice. Fourth, diligence, energy, and enthusiasm for the good. And fifth, insight into impermanence.”

“Then, for Meghiya’s further benefit, and to the cement the point, the Buddha goes through the list again, this time preceding each of the other items with the first: “When there is a lovely intimacy between friends, then there is virtuous conduct,” “When there is a lovely intimacy between friends, then there is frequent conversation that inspires and encourages practice,” et cetera. In other words, friendship is the most important element in the spiritual path. Everything else naturally flows from it.”

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