Kalyana Mitrata is spiritual friendship, even ‘the lovely intimacy’, the need for close and supportive connections with others in treading the path. Ratnaprabha explores why the Buddha said spiritual friendship is ‘the whole of the Buddhist Life’. Is it as important now as it was in the Buddha’s time? Is a Kalyana Mitra the same thing as a guru or teacher? How can we make the intimate connections in our lives really stimulating and nourishing? How do we...
Here Padmasuri shares stories of friendship between the early Buddhist nuns and the Buddha. Featuring glimpses into the lives of Mahapajapati, Patajara, Dhammadinna, Kisagotami, Mitta, Queen Mallika. Many of these women would have gone forth for friendship, a sort of cradle of friendship, in which the truth teachings would be held and practiced. Just so then, so now.
Here Karunadhi introduces us to the Red Rite of Fascination. Friendship emerges from love for our friends, but also can evoke strong attachment. Communication and the samgrahavastu (means of unification) of loving speech are the antidote for grasping and projection.
Vajratara introduces the theme of spiritual friendship or kalyana mitrata. What is spiritual friendship? How is it distinguished from ordinary friendship? How can we make friends? What is the difference between vertical and horizontal friendship? Using stories, personal anecdotes and images she introduces the overall theme to prepare for more talks in this series, which focusses on the tantric rites and friendship.
Suryamati reminds us that the spiritual life is difficult to practice on one’s own. Here we here the story of Meghiya where the Buddha advises that spiritual friendship is needed for the heart’s release.
How do we be a sangha member? How do we help others in their practice of sangha?
Here, we get an introduction to the teaching on the Samgrahavastus, the four means of unification.
A very interesting introduction to the mandala here from Garava - the idea, the myth, the image, the symbol, the experience. His own practice as an artist affords him a respectful and generous perspective, from which we are able to simply sit back and learn.
Ratnaghosha reflects on how friendships and connections are woven into the tapestry of his life, how other people give our lives a sense of richness and abundance. In the sangha, people are passing on the Dharma through their relationships – living, breathing Dharma is passed on through spiritual friendship. The Buddha was the original spiritual friend, exemplifying for us that Enlightenment demands communication.
From a series of talks given during the Year of Kalyana Mitrata at the Cambridge Buddhist...
We can find mandalas everywhere – in the East, in the West, in art, literature, even in dreams. Mandalas represent a resolution, or the beginnings of a resolution, of a conflict between the conscious and the unconscious.
Sangharakshita explores the symbolism of the mandala, circles of symbolic forms, found in the The Tantras (special scriptures of Vajrayana Buddhism) as a symbol of psychological and spiritual integration.
We often get ideas about the symbolism of the vajra as being tight and wilful. The language of determination can do that!
Jvalamalini looks at the importance of clarity of purpose for simplicity and meaning in life, and the powerful symbol of the vajra. This diamond-thunderbolt symbol is really more about integration then it is about powering through obstacles regardless of what the rest of our being is up to.