Giving up Negative Friendships

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 9/23/2020

From  “The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva“, verse 5, Giving up Negative Friendships.

“When friendship with someone causes the three poisons to increase,
Degrades the activities of listening, reflecting, and meditating,
And destroys loving kindness and compassion,
To give up such a friendship is the practice of a Bodhisattva.”

Shugen Roshi offers practitioners skillful means to navigate their challenging friendships with his commentary of the 5th bodhisattva verse. In this discourse of the 37 Verses of the Practice of a Bodhisattva, Shugen Roshi asks us to carefully examine the friendships and interactions that we label as negative or bad. By bringing our mindful attention to our habits around friends, we can begin to transform our reactionary experience into wholehearted practice.

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