Vipassana course diary: Thoughts about a friend

1. On the 5th day, thoughts about my very good friend assaulted me and disturbed my meditation. The fact is that something about him always bothered me and got on my craw. It used to irritate and frustrate me. Whether it be his cocky and arrogant attitude regarding himself, his dismissive attitude towards some other people, his sometimes mocking attitude towards me, his sensitivity of perceived slights, his bull headed ness, stubbornness, lack of tact, apparent lack of consideration for his friends, his incredible confidence in the superiority of his own star……… it all bothered me.

2. But most of what bothered me was my own attitude to him. For some reason I was not comfortable confronting him. Afraid even. My self respect was diminished as a result. One hand I was afraid of losing him as a friend. One the other hand, I was ashamed of myself for my fear in confronting him about his shortcomings and how it was bothering me.

3. During this meditation several thoughts assailed me.
a. Am I a good friend if I am afraid to confront him? Or just a coward? How can cowards be good friends? Are friends afraid to confront friends?
b. Are friends afraid to hurt friends?
c. Are friends afraid to leave? Would that not be a dependent relationship rather than friendship?
d. I am not even a man. How can i be a good friend?
e. A man’s first obligation is to himself. If he cannot even do that much, how can he fulfill the obligations of friendship?
f. Men are not afraid to hurt anyone.
g. Time to ask your gods to walk on water
h. Time to ask your heroes to prove their bravery in battle
i. If I’m wrong, so be it. No more cowardice.

4. By the evening of the 5th day, the intense desire for a confrontation with my good friend passed away. Feelings of friendship and love for him coursed through me. Again, the lesson is impermanence. Nothing lasts for ever. It all passes away. The following thoughts now flowed through me as the gentle waves of the sea lapping the beach.
a. If he is so bad, why have I been his friend so long? Because of all the people in this world, excluding my immediate family (parents, brother) and my uncle, there is no person on this earth, who likes me the way he likes me. This one thing, I know for a fact. I know it without doubt. This one single thing buries all his perceived shortcomings.
b. Whenever he get’s the opportunity, he calls me. He visits me. More so than any other human being on earth. He enjoys talking to me. Being with me. Is that not an affectionate person? Is it correct or wise on my part to generate negativity towards such a person?
c. What is this silly competition? This foolish race between him and me. This race which exists only in my mind. This race to enlightenment. This silly competition in picking up women. How foolish!
d. My Lord Buddha, in his previous incarnation as the hermit Sumedha rejected liberation in his quest to become a Buddha and bring billions out of their misery. How silly my race with my friend looks to be!

5. I finally realize and confront my own perceptions about my friend.
a. Am I not jealous of his success with women? Of course I am
b. Am I not jealous of his sexual ability which is giant like in comparison to my own? Of course I am.
c. Am I not resentful of his mocking me? Sure I am. But isn’t his mocking good natured. Have I not myself mocked people i liked. Have I not myself teased them in a good natured way. Don’t we all tease people we like. I have not teased him all that much due to my fear. But why is that his fault? He teases me because he likes me. Period! That overcomes all objections.
d. Am I not envious of his lack of doubt regarding his abilities? His ability to re frame every situation, every occurrence, every event to make himself look good? All this while I am a consistently doubtful of my own abilities? Of course, of course!
e. perhaps all my resentment of him is a result of my envy. Yes it is! Yes it is!

6. I finally feel grateful to have a friend who likes me with so much affection. Who likes me without doubt. If one day I find myself in a gutter, do I have an ounce of doubt that this person will help me out. No I do not! I have no doubts about him. How then can I generate negativity against him for any reason. This quality of his nullifies all his perceived faults. For my purposes, from my perspective, this man, this friend of mine, this spiritual brother of mine, has no faults. None. He is perfect


About masculineffort

A Man should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, seduce a woman, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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