We love the company of our friends. Generally, we choose our friends carefully because we like to associate with those who think alike, are trustworthy, and caring.
When it comes to meditation and developing mindfulness, it is very important to be with people who are on a similar spiritual path. There can be no distraction like a bad company of friends who take you away from progressing. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to find good friends who help your spiritual progress.
Who is good friend?
It is very difficult to identify a good. Usually, you have to observe for a period of time to understand the nature of a person. According to Buddhist texts, a good friend has the following qualities.
- A good friend helps you when you are in need.
- He will not expect anything in return
- He protects your secrets
- He will also share his secrets with you
- A good friend avoids you from any wrongdoing and does not encourage any wrongdoing
- A good friend rejoices in your success
- A good friend will get you engaged in good deeds such as generosity, morality, and meditation
Who is a bad friend?
You can identify a bad friend if you observe a person carefully. He has opposite qualities which a good friend has.
- A bad friend abandons you when you are in need of help
- He will share your secrets with others
- He will not share any of his secrets with you
- A bad friend encourages you to commit wrongdoings
- He will envy your success
- A bad friend will not support you in developing the spiritual path
How a good friend can help your spiritual progress?
A good friend always expects your wellbeing and happiness. Friends choose various paths to find happiness. They sing together, engage in community work, and go for outings, etc. Though you can find many friends to engage in worldly activities, it is difficult to find someone who is interested in spiritual progress.
In my experience, I have found best friends in meditation retreats or while engaged in community work. There is a saying that “birds of a feather flock together.” When you work on the path of awakening, you will meet friends who are looking for the same.
Actually, the qualities of a friend who is on the spiritual path are tender and soft. They treat you with kind words and deeds. You do not have to put a lot of effort into maintaining such a relationship because they do not expect anything in return.
Why do you naturally turn away from bad company as you progress on the path?
When we go through different chapters in life, we meet a lot of individuals. Some become our friends for a short period of life and then go away from our lives.
If you are on the spiritual path, you may realize that some friends have automatically stopped association with you. Even if you are on good terms with your friends, you may feel that now you cannot enjoy certain activities that you used to do together.
For example, imagine you like loud music before. When you start progressing on the path, you cannot enjoy the same anymore. That happens naturally because your senses are now attuned to subtle senses. Therefore, those who enjoyed loved music with you will gradually go disappear from your friends’ list.
There is nothing to worry about losing some of your friends because who will ultimately remain with you are true spiritual friends.
Why is it important to have a good teacher on the spiritual path?
Also, it is very important to find a good teacher who can guide you throughout your journey. A teacher is someone who has already walked on that path so that he has enough experience to protect you from doing mistakes and guide you toward progress.
As a meditator, you should be honest to share your real experience with the teacher, so that he can give you the necessary instructions. You should give respect and be careful to follow the instructions of the teacher for the development of your mind.
What are the advantages of having a spiritual friend?
- A spiritual friend can guide you when necessary
- It is safe to be with a friend because he is watchful if and when you are off track
- Practicing with spiritual friends give you courage and motivation to continue with the practice
- You can find where you go wrong by talking to a spiritual friend
Walking the spiritual path is not easy. You need to have a group of good friends to share the experience and keep you motivated. Usually, it is misunderstood that meditators are those who sit silently for some long hours in isolation. Although you need freedom and solitude practicing meditation, you also need the company of good friends to uplift your journey. Therefore, the benefit of having a spiritual friend is necessary for your mental development.