37 Practices-Practice #6

Good teachers and spiritual friends help us solve our problems and maintain our loving intentions. Cherish these kindred spirits, friends, and mentors. The Sons and Daughters of the Buddhas all follow this practice.

Lama Das’ Commentary:

As seekers we need to cultivate a community of spiritual friends who will understand and value our goals. Reach out and strengthen these connections. Appreciate and value the healing gifts that these friends provide. Seek a wise teacher.

Self-Examination:

Do I fully appreciate, respect, and attend to my spiritual mentors, friends, and teachers while they are here to help guide me?

Shihan Henderson’s Commentary:

The above is directly applicable to our own Budo lives. During our quest to perfect our Budo technique and our way of living we come up against a multitude of difficulties and problems. When facing these trials it is important that we do not forget our fellow Budoka and remember that they too have, or are facing similar issues with which we may be able to connect, discuss and solve. However, it is up to each and everyone of us to reach out to one another and strengthen the bonds that build ever lasting relationships. These bonds are not created by themselves and they take nurturing the same as all other relationships.

Perhaps, most of all, we should always remember how lucky we are to be a part of a larger group of like minded individuals able to share and grow with one another. Many, many people are in life situations where this is not possible or where they do not have this luxury.

Moreover, we should always keep in mind the power of the teacher – student relationship and how it can change the lives of both persons for the better. It is a symbiotic relationship that continues to grow as long as we are fortunate enough to avail ourselves of it. We should keep in mind that as with everything in life this relationship can be fleeting or short lived as situations change, people come and go or, for whatever reason, one of the partners is no longer able to be there. This should help us remember how very special each training session is and how we must accept our responsibility to engage ourselves fully in it.

Budo-Examination:

Do I reach out to the other Budoka or am I the type that waits for others to approach me? Am I conscious of how much effort my teachers put in helping me learn or do I expect to be given the knowledge as a right? Do I let others know that I appreciate their help and assistance and do I open up and make myself available to them as well? Do I try to reinforce the Budo community of friends by finding ways to help and build or do I find myself complacent waiting for things to happen?