Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gratitude 2/3: The Society of Friends

I am grateful—very grateful—for The Society of Friends who met here tonight to discuss Chapter 17 of the Dhammapada, Anger. I had been looking forward to this meeting for several days.

We sat around the table listening intently to each other respond to what the Buddha taught about anger.

I felt enriched, as if each person brought a bowl of jewels to share. Each person's insights into and experiences with anger enlivened, enriched, and deepened the Dharma for me.

Sangham saranam gachami!
(I take refuge in my spiritual friends!)


Alden said...

I am intrigued by the fact that the Society of Friends are discussing Buddhism, you use capital letters here - do I presume these are Quakers or my is misunderstanding a 'howler'?

Mr. Kinder said...

Oh, no, not a howler. On the contrary, your question belies knowledge uncommon in my world: few people I meet know that "Society of Friends" implies Quakers. I think you'd have to go to Pennsylvania to find people who generally know what you already know.

I once was a Quaker. I've since gravitated to Buddhism (longish story). I've adopted Quaker form to Buddhist inquiry and call the group,
"Society of Friends of the Buddha" (as distinct from, but not opposed to Jesus).

Delwyn said...

Good evening Dan:

Have you ever thought that your nom de plume ~ Mr Kinder is also 'kinder'- that which we are striving to be...

I used your 1st CKC today in my meditation and again as I was paddling tonight. I really enjoyed committing it to memory and feeling my internal responses to the words. So I copied the next one and will use it after a few days of focusing on #1.

Tonight I think of my 'bestest' friend, Julie, and how I love our chats together over coffee after gym classes.

I am grateful for my love of words and the joy that stringing them together gives me.

And lastly, but by no means the least, gratitude goes to Dan's CKC - Cultivating Kindness Contemplation.

Mr. Kinder said...

The ambiguity of Mr. Kinder pleases me. I found that I needed to shorten my nom de plume from "Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten" to something that would fit better in the comment columns in people's blogs.

The original intent was to use an abbreviated form of Mr. Kindergarten by lopping off the final two syllables, but keeping the meaning.

But, just as you see, it acquires another meaning, and one that fits well with the goals of this blog.

Mr. Kinder said...

Delwyn, I am very happy you've found the CKC useful. Happiness increases with sharing. The more we hold together the more we all have. Please continue to share the CKC widely and skillfully with others around you.

Thanks, Delwyn. You've made ME happy to know this.

Katherine said...

I am so grateful today for three special friends of mine that I shall call by the flowers they each love:
Peony : for her journey towards enlightenment that she shares with me (and I with her)
Gardenia : for his patience and tolerance with me when we were lovers and his reaching out to me still.
Sweet pea : for her loyalty and consistency.

Mr. Kinder said...

Katherine, your comment reminded me of a wonderful book for young children by Kevin Henkes called Chrysanthemum. (Now there's a word good spellers don't stumble on!) If you're not familiar with it, I recommend it for many reasons, but also because its main characters are named after flowers.

Delwyn said...

I am evesdropping here Dan and Katherine...But you may be interested to know that my older daughter I called Poppy and my youngest was given the name Ae-Ran by her birth mother in Korea -it means Love Orchid...
We are surrounded by beautiful flowers...