Spiritual Friendship and the Eightfold Path
With Janet Surrey
March 2 - 4, 2018
The Buddha said that, “Spiritual (noble) friendship is the whole of the Holy Life.” While the traditional understanding of “spiritual friendship” is framed in Theravada monastic settings, this weekend course will investigate the cultivation of spiritual friendship as the nexus of the eightfold path in the lives of lay practitioners. In this framework, walking the path together can be a vehicle for embodying spiritual friendship and community. The weekend will focus on engaged relational meditation (Insight Dialogue), including speaking and listening, as a practice of spiritual friendship. The guidelines for Insight Dialogue will be introduced and dharma contemplations offered pointing to the role of intentional spiritual friendship on the eightfold path of liberation. We will investigate the challenges and fruits of spiritual friendship across cultural, gender, and racial divisions for contemporary women and men. We will explore the Eightfold Path as a foundation for accompanying each other through this life and for our commitment to the particular relationships in our lives, through illness, aging and death.