Friendship on the Path: Meeting Life’s Challenges Together

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This course will explore the central importance and practice of noble friendship (kalyāṇa-mitta) in engaging the four noble truths of suffering and the end of suffering. We will introduce the guidelines of Insight Dialogue as a formal practice of noble friendship. Walking the path together, we can investigate how to fully receive and be with the challenges of our lives. We will contemplate classical texts on spiritual friendship in relation to the five recollections of illness, aging, death, loss, and separation. In addition, there will be an investigation of the power of relational practice in turning toward the contemporary environmental crisis and an exploration of how this crisis is entwined with the oppressive power structures of patriarchy, colonialism and white supremacy. By tending to our shared aspiration for awakening, we can recognize that which divides and separates us from each other and from our power in the relationship.

Learning Intentions:

To learn the meditation guidelines of Insight Dialogue as a foundation for Noble Friendship in our lives; learn the impact and power of engaging each of the Four Noble Truths together; experience and practice facing and holding together the natural challenges of illness, aging, death, and loss; and experience and practice facing and holding together the human-created challenges of climate change.

Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:

This course will be held in noble silence with periods of speaking and listening in sessions of Insight Dialogue and informal guided dharma sharing during some meals.

Experience Level:

Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.