On Having Friends

November Project: Question #21 This comes from O through an ongoing email conversation.

Now days I am not sure how many friends I have because I don't see them anymore. It seems when I started to dig deeper or go beyond thought etc., I disconnected from them. Lately, the more I meditate the harder I find it to connect to the normal stuff people talk about...namely simple complaints. I just don't feel it.

Thank you, O, for your interesting observations.

As far as friends are concerned, there are certain people that have continued with me, but not so many. Really - and let's exclude family - I can count real friends on one hand. That number can grow, of course, but it is hard to imagine it going beyond two hands. :)

I have had many friends in my life, and if I were ever re-introduced to those that have gone 'missing,' I am sure it would be fun and friendly, and we might even be able to get on the exact same way as before. But it is true, most people come in and out like the wind.

You know, some will stay with you forever, even if you have not seen them in awhile. If you have not noticed this yet, you will...

Takuin has little hanging friends...probably because most people bring so much of themselves into their interactions with others, and they need others to absorb those parts of their essence, so to speak. Then, they build a history with that person, and they can really only feel comfortable with that history. It is far too difficult to be new for them, at least in that sense.

Seven Buddhas

It is interesting...when someone is going to bail, I can feel it. I know it is coming. It is like two galaxies colliding...it is inevitable in that same way; the friend is going to leave, and nothing is going to stop that. Sometimes they go out with a whimper, and other times with a BANG. I'm not sure which I prefer...

I don't know if you think about this consciously or not. Maybe it is on your mind, maybe it isn't. These kind of thoughts are not really necessary when meeting someone, of course. It is not as if we meet someone and think all the while, "I wonder when or if they'll leave." If you are 'clean', so to speak, in your interactions with others, it won't matter...they'll come when they come, and go when they go...

We will always be social creatures. The quality of this can change in liberation, but it won't necessarily come to a complete end. You may find certain people almost un-lose-able, for better or worse. ;)