1. 9 Things a True Friend Would Never Do

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    1.  Criticize you for being flawed.
    As flawed as you might be, as out of place as you sometimes feel, and as lacking as you think you are, you don’t have to hide all the imperfect pieces of yourself from a true friend.  They see your flaws as features that make you interesting and beautiful.

    The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations.  True friends love and appreciate each other just the way they are.

    2.  Walk away when times get tough.
    True friendship and good character is all about how a person nurtures another person when they are vulnerable and can give very little in return.  Thus, it’s not who’s standing beside you during good times, but the ones who stick by you through tough times that are your true friends.

    So take note of who remains in your life when times get tough, especially the people who sacrifice the resources they have in their life to help you improve yours when you need it most.  Seriously, when you come out the other side of a difficult period in your life, look around you.  The people still standing beside you are your true friends.

    3.  Discourage you.
    Unfortunately, some who seem like your friends will try to hold you back from your full potential.  It may be difficult, but don’t let these negative imposters bring you down.  Don’t ever let your so-called friends turn your sky into a ceiling.  Beware of friends who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small hearts and minds always do that.  The greatest hearts and minds – the people you should spend time around – make you feel that you, too, can become great.

    Remember, encouraging things happen when you distance yourself from discouraging people.  Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

    4.  Hold a grudge over your head.
    Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be – that you’ve made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and moved beyond them.  They may not be able to stand the fact that you’re growing and moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you.  Do not help them by acknowledging their begrudging behavior.  Let go of their negativity, find peace, and liberate yourself!

    A true friend never holds the unchangeable past against you; instead, they help your repair your present and future.  If someone relentlessly judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to take matters into your own hands, and repair your present and future by leaving them behind.

    5.  Lie to you.
    When you keep someone in your life who is a chronic liar, and you keep giving them new chances to be trusted, you have a lot in common with this person – you’re both lying and being unfriendly to YOU.

    If you know someone who avoids the truth by telling you only what you want to hear, they do so for their own benefit, not yours.  They are not a true friend and they don’t deserve to be treated as such. Continue reading

  2. True friend – a real friend of heart

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    Jendhamuni in forest - April 18, 2015.

    Jendhamuni in forest – April 18, 2015.

    Nagarjuna said that for a system where emptiness is possible, it is also possible to have functionality, and since functionality is possible, emptiness is also possible. So when we talk about nature, the ultimate nature is emptiness. What is meant by emptiness, or shunyata? It is not the emptiness of existence but rather the emiPtiness of true or independent existence, which means that things exist by dependence upon other factors.

    So whether it is the environment that is inhabited, or the inhabitants, both of them are composed of four or five basic elements. These elements are earth, wind, fire, water and vacuum, that is space. About space, in the Kalachakra tantra there is a mention of what is known as the atom of space, particles of space. So that forms the central force of the entire phenomenon. When the entire system of the universe first evolved, it evolved from this central force which is the particle of space, and also a system of universe and would dissolve eventually into this particle of the space. So it is on the basis of these five basic elements that there is a very close inter-relatedness or interrelation between the habitat that is the natural environment and inhabitants, the sentient beings living within it.

    Also, when we talk of the elements there are internal elements which are existent inherently within sentient beings; they are also of different levels- some are subtle and some are gross.

    So ultimately according to Buddhist teachings the innermost subtle consciousness is the sole sort of creator, itself consisting of five elements, very subtle forms of elements. These subtle elements serve as conditions for producing the internal elements, which form sentient beings, and that in turn causes the existence or evolution of the external elements. So there is a very close interdependence or Interrelationship between the environment and the inhabitants.

    Within the meaning of interdependency there are many different levels that things are dependent upon casual factors, or upon their own parts, or the conceptual mind, which actually gives the label, the designation.

    The topic that we are discussing today is the interrelationship or interdependence between the natural environment and the sentient beings living within it.

    Now here, you see, some of my friends told me that basic human nature is something violent. Then I told my friends, I don’t think so. If we examine different mammals, say those animals such as tigers or lions that very much depend on other’s life for their basic survival these animals because of their basic nature have a special structure, their teeth and long nails, like that. So, those peaceful animals, such as deer, which are completely herbivorous, their teeth and nails are something different; gentler. So from that viewpoint, we human beings belong to the gentle category, isn’t that so? Our teeth, our nails, these are very gentle. So I told my friends, I don’t agree with your viewpoint. Basically human beings have a non-violent nature.

    Also, about the question of human survival, human beings are social animals. In order to survive you need other companions; without other human beings there is simply no possibility to survive; that is nature’s law, that is nature.

    Since I deeply believe that basically human beings are of a gentle nature so I think the human attitude towards our environment should be gentle. Therefore I believe that not only should we keep our relationship with our other fellow human beings very gentle and non-violent, but it is also very important to extend that kind of attitude to the natural environment. I think morally speaking we can think like that and we should all be concerned for our environment.

    Then I think there is another viewpoint. In this case It IS not a question of morality or ethics, not that question; is a question of our own survival. Not only this generation, but for other generations, the environment is something very important. If we exploit the natural environment in an extreme way, today we might gee-some other benefit but in the long run we ourselves will suffer and other generations will suffer. So when the environment changes, climatic conditions also change. When it changes dramatically, economic structures and many other things also change, even our physical body. So you can seethe great effect from that change. So from that viewpoint this is not only a question of our own survival.

    Therefore, in order to achieve more effective results and in order to succeed in the protection, conservation and preservation of the natural environment, first of all, I think, it is also important to bring about internal balance within human beings themselves. Since negligence of the environment – which has resulted in lots of harm to the human community – came about by ignorance of the very special importance of the environment, I think it is very important first of all to instill this knowledge within human beings. So, it is very important to teach or tell people about its importance bring own benefit.

    Then, one of the other most important things again, as I am always saying, is the importance of compassionate thought. As I mentioned earlier, even from ones own selfish viewpoint, you need other people. So, by showing concern for other people’s welfare, sharing other people’s suffering, and by helping other people, ultimately one will gain benefit. If one thinks only of oneself and forgets about others, ultimately one will lose. This also is something like nature’s law. I think it is quite simple. If you do not show a smile to other people, and show some kind of bad look or like that, the other side wi1l also give a similar response. Isn’t that right? If you show other people a very sincere and open attitude there will also be a similar response. So it is quite simple logic. Continue reading


Live & Die for Buddhism

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Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

Problems we face today

jendhamuni pink scarfnature

Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

Major Differences in Buddhism

Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

My Reflection

This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

A Handful of Leaves

Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more