Sunday, February 12, 2017

2 Great Keys to Developing Friendships ~ Treasures of the Heart

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From Daisaku Ikeda from 

"As the Buddhist teacher Nichiren states: “More valuable than treasures in a storehouse are the treasures of the body, and the treasures of the heart are the most valuable of all.” “Treasures of the storehouse” refer to money and other forms of material wealth. “Treasures of the body” are skills and abilities, as well as physical health. “Treasures of the heart” are the riches that we build within our lives. This indicates the kind of inner strength that cannot be defeated by any tribulation. It refers to the power to live out our lives in a creative way, with constant joy, fulfillment and vitality."

And how do we live our lives in a creative way, with constant joy, fulfillment and vitality? I think one of the keys is through the rich friendships we make. Having good close friends to be there for us, celebrate with us...share their lives with us and create close community...Aaaahhhh, THIS is true treasure.

But not everyone is skilled at making friends...and there IS a skill to making friends. AND we can use our Buddhist practice to fulfill our desire for new friends...along with actions to take as well. 

As a child, and throughout most of my younger life I had very few friends. I found myself living in San Francisco as a young mother, a fairly new Buddhist, with very few friends. And I knew I could change this, and that something had to change within me. AND I had to gain some friendship making skills. 

How did I chant? 
What did I do? 

I chanted to change the karma of not having friends. I chanted to change whatever needed to be changed within my own core...within my own BEING, that would change my environment and bring loving, lasting friendships into my life. I chanted to BE a friend. 
I did tons of shakubuku. I chanted for my members everyday. AND I consulted my father, the world's best friend maker. 

And what happened? I TOTALLY changed that karma and developed the skills to make new friends. Now I have more than 20 people I consider BEST friends, and the list is always growing. I love them all, and they love me. I love you too, my readers. My capacity to love just grows and grows. 

How has this changed my life? How could making new friends, lasting friends, real friends - gaining the ability to really open your life to others in a way that allows you to blossom like the Buddha you could that change your life?

Well, for me, it got me through the worst, most challenging times when my sweet son got so, so sick. My wonderful Buddhist friends surrounded me and chanted with me. One friend came every morning. And when Ben died, I flung open my doors and called out to my friends and they filled my house from morning till evening - because I wanted them to. They cried with me, reminisced about Ben with me, chanted with me, and sometimes just sat in silence. 

They helped me plan Ben's Life Celebration, and showed up to be there for me. And they gave me a fantastic send-off when I left Chicago and moved to Florida last June. And although I was sad to be leaving my friends in Chicago, I knew I would make great new friends in Florida, and I HAVE!

THIS is a treasure of the heart. THIS is what really matters in life. Something has unfolded in the core of my life...some energy that opens me to be be be love and forgiveness and alive...and to love and be loved. 

Key # 1

We can start with the sincere prayer to open to loving friendships, and to change our friendship karma. 

Key #2

Using a mirror - look yourself in the eye. Every morning, and say: 

"I am ready to make new friends now! I am ready right now to bring new friends into my life. I have a lot to offer. My new friends are waiting to meet ME! I am ready!" 

Try this one incredible key.  

Have a beautiful day! 

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