Photograph:(from left) Ayya Khema, Ven.Pema Chodron, Ven. Gesshin Myoko Prabhasa Dharma
“The one antidote that is the same for all five hindrances — our five enemies — is to have noble friends and noble conversation. To have the kind of friends with whom one discusses not gossip, not the weather, not politics, not other people, but the way of emancipation through Dhamma. Those kinds of friends are the important people in one’s life.
When Ananda, the Buddha’s cousin and attendant, once said to the Buddha, “Sir, a good friend is half of the holy life,” the Buddha said, “Do not say so, Ananda. A good friend is the whole of the holy life.” There is nothing to take the place of a spiritual friend. This is the most important person in one’s life — the kind of friend who helps one remember to be on the path. It is a matter of remembering.
When we remember, we can do it, but most of the time we forget. The noble conversation we can have with such a person helps us again and again to look at ourselves and see that our problems come from craving, from wanting.”
***from “Being Nobody, Going Nowhere: Meditations on the Buddhist Path”
Ayya Khema (August 25, 1923 – November 2, 1997) was a Buddhist teacher and was very active in providing opportunities for women to practice Buddhism, founding several centers around the world. In 1987, she helped coordinate the first-ever Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women. Over two dozen books of her transcribed Dhamma talks in English and German have been published. In the last year of her life, she also published her autobiography: I Give You My Life.