Author Topic: Good Friends or Bad Friends?  (Read 26869 times)

kurava

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2012, 10:51:13 PM »
In the conventional world, it is true that we consider “good” friends are the ones that stay with us through thick and thin, while “bad” friends are those that leave us when we are in bad times.

In spiritual training, we are taught to look beyond friend, enemy and stranger. Why ? A friend can turn to be our worst enemy just  by saying something we don’t like to hear and vice versa. A stranger can become our best of friend in the next minute because he saves our life. If we contemplate the dharma beyond this current life, we will realize our past enemies could be our friends/loved ones in this current life and  similarly friends/loved ones can become our arch enemies in the next life. Knowing “friend, enemy & stranger” are just mere labels, let’s not be attached to any as this is one of the 3 main causes of our pains and unnecessary disappointments.

Positive Change

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2012, 03:40:11 PM »
In the conventional world, it is true that we consider “good” friends are the ones that stay with us through thick and thin, while “bad” friends are those that leave us when we are in bad times.

In spiritual training, we are taught to look beyond friend, enemy and stranger. Why ? A friend can turn to be our worst enemy just  by saying something we don’t like to hear and vice versa. A stranger can become our best of friend in the next minute because he saves our life. If we contemplate the dharma beyond this current life, we will realize our past enemies could be our friends/loved ones in this current life and  similarly friends/loved ones can become our arch enemies in the next life. Knowing “friend, enemy & stranger” are just mere labels, let’s not be attached to any as this is one of the 3 main causes of our pains and unnecessary disappointments.

Like I said before, it is silly for me to label my friends as good or bad purely because if they were bad, they would not be a friend.

That said, what are bad friends anyway? Are they the ones that hurt us and not come to par with OUR expectations? Do we think that perhaps we created the very karma for us to go through that and instead of letting it go further we should think about forgiving and letting go as opposed to labeling them and further create the causes for us to experience more "bad friends".

Surely we have heard of the saying: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer! If we can apply this to our lives perhaps we can change our perceptions of those who we deem as our "bad friends = enemies". Easier said then done perhaps? Yes but through persistence and resilience I know it can work.

I personally had an experience with a school bully back when I was 9 or 10. I tried every possible way to get out of his way but nothing worked as he would take it as a challenge and kept on teasing and taunting me. The turning point was when I had the guts to face him and literally asked him pointblank I did not see why we could not be friends and that I would be happy to share my lunch with him. I never saw such a look of shock on a person's face. And believe me it was scary as he was one of these early bloomers who was close to 6 feet tall at age 10!!!!

We did not become "friends" after that but he never did taunt me again after that. Till today, I do not know what it was but with my understanding now, perhaps he was just lonely and was awkward (his size) and the only was he knew how was to bully to get "recognition". Am no child physiologist but I think it has something to do with acceptance!

pgdharma

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2012, 03:16:58 PM »
I would not judge who is a good friend or a bad friend as friends come and go. Any friendship that can cease has never been real. Anyways, nothing is permanent as our worst enemy could be our best friend and our best friend our worst enemy.  However, I would choose to have real friends. A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out and sticks around forever.




bambi

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 09:48:55 AM »
 :'( I have friends whom I thought that will stick with me thru thick and thin but I am so wrong about many of them. For one of them I don't know whether I should be happy or sad. Happy that I know what type of person she is and sad that I lost one of my best friend. I have known her since we were teenagers yet she gave up our friendship to moment I joined Buddhism. I can tell the way she fakes her closeness but its okay as I still love them.

Now with Dharma, I found real friends who are there for me thru thick and thin and I truly appreciate it as I know that they are genuine and they only hope that I excel in Dharma and be happy. These people are the ones I know will be with me till the end of life and my future lives as I have the great karma to be with them. Thank you!

biggyboy

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 10:13:50 AM »
Hmmm...I have friends whom I have considered good and closed friends whom I thought I can confide and rely on can turn out to be the other way round.  How disappointed and frustrated I was then when I needed them most at that point of time.   Those that I do not expect, was there for me.  Hence, I have now not wanting to label any of my so call friends as good or bad.  Now, my best friend is dharma.

Positive Change

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2012, 10:31:24 AM »
:'( I have friends whom I thought that will stick with me thru thick and thin but I am so wrong about many of them. For one of them I don't know whether I should be happy or sad. Happy that I know what type of person she is and sad that I lost one of my best friend. I have known her since we were teenagers yet she gave up our friendship to moment I joined Buddhism. I can tell the way she fakes her closeness but its okay as I still love them.

Now with Dharma, I found real friends who are there for me thru thick and thin and I truly appreciate it as I know that they are genuine and they only hope that I excel in Dharma and be happy. These people are the ones I know will be with me till the end of life and my future lives as I have the great karma to be with them. Thank you!

Dear Bambi... no one person is to be blamed when friends drift apart or when, in your case, the friendship literally fell into a crevice. Sometimes friends are with us for a certain moment in time, where we have the karma to be with each other and when that karma exhaust itself, then we move on. One should not feel sadness or gladness because either way it is an attachment.

As true friends we should be happy for them and wish them well. We should genuinely respect their decision even though the choices they make are not what we ourselves would do. It is a common expectation we put on our friends.... what we want and what we like and what we think they should do. As true friends we should respect whatever decision they make especially if it is something that we ourselves disagree with. That is, I believe the true sign of a friend.

And best friendships work BOTH ways. Tolerance and acceptance is key for me personally. It is like the saying "when you love someone, you need to set them free". It applies to friendship and any relationship as we are all our own persons and to throw our expectations on someone else is not right!

With regards to Dharma friends, as much as i would like to believe that people in Dharma are better as friends that is however a misconception too. It sounds pessimistic really but the reason I say so is because it is not the Dharma that makes them good or bad... it is the person within that really matters. In fact within a Dharma context sometimes it is harder to peel past those layers (we all have) because there is an underlying tolerance for negativity or bad habits as we give people the chance that normally won't be tolerated "outside" so to speak... so I am of two minds when it comes to the reality of Dharma friends. Having said that though, the friends that you do cultivate through a Dharma that we go through thick and thin with are the ones that are the keepers for sure!

Dorje Pakmo

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2012, 01:57:21 PM »
The Buddha taught us to distinguish people that will benefit us in along the path, and people that will drag us down and cause us to create negative Karma. But, often our mind is so deluded, we cannot differentiate between good from bad and vice versa. Today when someone treat us nice, we call them GOOD friend. Tomorrow the same person says something we don’t like, we call him/her a BAD friend. And whether or not we have the Karma to have the four warm hearted friends (1) he who is a helpmate,(2) he who is the same in happiness and sorrow,(3) he who gives good counsel, (4) he who sympathizes, pretty much depends on our own actions (past and present).

If in our life, we keep bumping into friends, who are out to get things out of us and make life miserable for us, probably in our previous lives we may have been someone who appropriates, very good at lip service, boot-licked and brought ruin to many? Hence, we must skillfully steer ourselves away to friends that will be beneficial to our spiritual development. By skillful, meaning we do not quarrel / fight, we do not hold grudges and resentment towards them and if needed we should confront and make things clear.

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I work in commercial world for so many years and I can confidently say that there is no true friend in working place. Those who I thought are friends will be my 'friends' as long as I can benefit them. Once there is a problem, they'll turned their backs, worse, a few would 'stabbed' my back even I have helped them so many times...

We project our expectations on others, and we get upset when our “GooD” gestures are not returned. How good are we a friend to begin with? If we start reminding ourselves to treat the people we meet every day with these four qualities, SINCERERITY, INTEGRITY, HONESTY and EMPATHY, I believe, the four warm hearted friends will always be around us.

I agree and like very much what dondrup has written.
Very meaningful.
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Our best friend could become our worst enemy.  Our worst enemy could turn out to be our best friend. Then there are those strangers who are indifferent to us.  Hence they are neither our friends nor enemies.  Who are these friends, enemies or strangers then?

When we die at the end of our life, we leave behind all our friends, enemies and strangers.  It does not matter what the relationships were before we die. We will be completely separated from them physically.  We won’t even remember or recognize them in the following life.

Hence we should not develop attachment to our friends, aversion to our enemies and indifference to strangers who will not help us upon our death.  However we should develop a good samaya or connection with our spiritual guide. Our spiritual guide is the only true friend who will help us life after life until we accomplish enlightenment.
DORJE PAKMO

biggyboy

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2012, 05:32:33 AM »
Buddha once said, “An insincere friend is more to fear than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound you badly, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”

In life we will always have good or bad people around us, good friends or bad friends.

Good friends are ones who will help us in time of need, will inspire us and help us to walk down the right path.

Bad friends will mislead us to do the wrong things, create anger, hatred, jealousy and misunderstandings.

If we look at it positively, bad friend can also be our teacher, to train us to deal with the negative feelings.


“No good friends, no bad friends; only people you want, need to be with. People who build their houses in your heart” – Stephen King

Tammy

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2012, 08:21:06 AM »
Dear DS Friend,

I like your quote:
Bad Friends come for Good Times;
Good Friends stayed in Bad Times.


Found interesting discussion by Paramabandhu in his audio books:
1. Take the initiative, and take an interest.
2. Don't expect friendship.
3. If you like someone, make friends with them.
4. If you don't like someone, make friends with them.
5. Friendship – or at least spiritual friendship – is not based on the romantic ideal.
6. Work together.
7. Go on retreat together.
8. Live together.
9. Eyeballing is not the whole story.
10. Help your friend.
11. Be faithful.
12. Befriend their family.
13. Try to understand your friend from the inside.
14. Be prompt to resolve conflicts.
15. Base your friendship on common spiritual ideals.

We should contemplate the above 15 points and relate them to our 'friends'.. it would be interesting to see the scores of each of them!!
Down with the BAN!!!

brian

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2012, 02:48:19 PM »
Dear DS Friend,

I like your quote:
Bad Friends come for Good Times;
Good Friends stayed in Bad Times.


Found interesting discussion by Paramabandhu in his audio books:
1. Take the initiative, and take an interest.
2. Don't expect friendship.
3. If you like someone, make friends with them.
4. If you don't like someone, make friends with them.
5. Friendship – or at least spiritual friendship – is not based on the romantic ideal.
6. Work together.
7. Go on retreat together.
8. Live together.
9. Eyeballing is not the whole story.
10. Help your friend.
11. Be faithful.
12. Befriend their family.
13. Try to understand your friend from the inside.
14. Be prompt to resolve conflicts.
15. Base your friendship on common spiritual ideals.

We should contemplate the above 15 points and relate them to our 'friends'.. it would be interesting to see the scores of each of them!!


We should learn how to treat our friends well and be there for them when they needed it just the most. This is how we maintain true friendship and help each other to embrace the rocky moments or sail the smooth sea in our lifetime. they are our friends this life and this is due to our karmic connection, and do remember that, everyone of us were mothers to each other before simply because we have had so many lifetimes before... treasure friends and treat them without personal agenda.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2012, 03:05:57 PM »
I think the value of the friendship is important.  It is best to have true friends.

- constantly looking out for one another, wishing only for the best
- sympathy rather than pity
- honesty : where you can talk about anything under the sun and accept each other's opinions
- understanding and support
- trust in each other
- enjoy each other's company
- ability to be your true self when together

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2015, 06:09:03 AM »
What a very interesting post.  My Guru taught me that whatever and whoever a person is to me is by my  judgement, perception and affliction not forgetting my own experience.  With that in mind, even if someone is good but appearance is like someone who gave me a bad experience, that person has no chance at all.

It is important to give each person a chance and your eventual friendship with them is at your discretion to create or otherwise.  Having said that there are many who proves necessary to be categorised. Let us not label good or bad friends, as each of us have our own peculiarities which are different.  Let us be open and permit a chance to all.  Some may get closer due to common goals and motivation and some are different, then distance is the best alternative.

In the Dharma center there are also peculiar people too but because we operate from benefiting others we are more accepting.

Remember the 8 verses mind transformation and it is not a good or bad friend that is of consideration but rather what the person needs spiritually will make us more accepting of such people to cultivate any form of friendship. 

angelica

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2015, 04:46:21 PM »
Good friend or bad friend is a label we are giving to someone based on our own perception. Due impermanence, our good friend can suddenly become our enermy and vice versa. Because of our karma, we definitely will have both friends in our life. They are important to us.

Good friends will support us, going thru bad times with us & be with us on good times too.

Whereas for bad friends, it is a good example to remind us that this is not what we want to be. We should be thankful to our bad friends, cos they are the one that give us a chance to practice patience and compassion.

grandmapele

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2015, 09:20:37 AM »
My questions to this are: Are you so sure that all who go to Dharma centres are good? Are they there because they themselves need help or are they there because they are good? Are all in Dharma centre trustworthy?

We would like to think that, but statistically speaking, there so many who left for many reasons. So, where does that land us? In the secular world as in the spiritual world we need wisdom. Not blindly trusting that just because they are in a dharma centre therefore they are trustworthy and are very helpful. Just don't have expectations and projections and have wisdom to see them for what they are. Just don't condemn or criticize harshly. Accept it and have caution and go on with your practice.

vajra-NMD

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Re: Good Friends or Bad Friends?
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2017, 12:54:57 PM »
Interesting topic to talk about : Good friends or bad friends?

My point of view : Good or Bad friends are all depending of us.

Bad friend : who talking bad of what you believe ( religion ), criticize our Guru, gangsters, mafia or a friend keep telling us to take drugs is good for us, showing us ours life are just Eat, sleep, play and repeat. Are they a bad friends? No, they're just in the state of ignorant. For me : for me, i'll chosen to forgiving them, try all my best and spend time to explain with them what's Right and what's wrong if they are still doing " the bad things " 

Good friend : what is the definition of "Good"? As long we are born-ed as human, that's  no right or wrong. Are doctors, lawyers, spiritual practitioners, business mans, CEOs, Managing Directors are good or qualify to be ours good friends? 

At last, good or bad friends it is just depending on us, and how we look at each others, there's no right and no wrong or good and bad to every human beings. I strongly believed our deep human nature is compassion within every single one of us.

If a good person with bad attitudes or a bad person with good attitudes, learn from the "good" of that person and try ours best and spend time to correct their bad attitudes, forgive them, love them and care of them ( good or bad persons )

All of above, i am still learning, i am practice to be a better person, i want to gain more wisdom to change myself, before i change another person to be GOOD.

Humbly
Sincerely
vajra-NMD