Our potential for “Admirable Friendship” is one of the many possibilities that our SCLU offers. Shall we give it a try? Will we invest the time? Are we willing to cultivate that? Here is a brief statement about such an admirable friendship.
And what is meant by admirable friendship? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, associates with householders or householders’ sons, young or old, who are consummate in conviction, consummate in virtue, consummate in generosity, consummate in discernment. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate generosity in those who are consummate in generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called admirable friendship.
from the Anguttara Nikaya 8:54, a collection of the Buddha’s discourses
As some of us already know, by assisting others we help ourselves and by helping ourselves we may benefit others as well. All “others” take place in our experience. Our experience is the true home of ourselves. Our experience is the authentic home of whatever we encounter: human, animal, insect, ocean, mountain, desert, and even an other owl! So, to truly help can we realize that it is our own life that makes “others” possible? We will feel into the need of consummate conviction, consummate virtue, generosity, discernment? And perhaps even the need for… admirable friendship?