When I started a regular meditation practice my social time was reduced considerably both by the 2 hours I was meditating in my free time, and by the reduction of events I was attending while attempting to follow my precepts. This reduced priority on relationships was always concerning to me at first. It seemed like the only thing that really mattered in life were people and the experiences we shared, so why was I cutting this out of my life?Actually, the fail-safe strategy to meet new people is to bond over intoxicants or mutual frustrations. Strangely, I seemed to appreciate the safety of bonding over misery, rather than spending my energy escaping from misery.
So then I committed to Vipassana and my social time cut way back. I had a few meditator friends, but those few people were already established meditators, and this practice seems so personal sometimes that it’s hard to bond over. I would attend a group sitting, we would sit, then we would go home without ever getting to know each other. So where does friendship fit in? What is a friend?
This idea of Right Friendship popped into my head when thinking about the precepts. Just like, “I will abstain from killing,” could a friend be anyone who helps me abstain from negative actions? Slowly, as I build the vibrations of positivity in my life, I’m finding more and more people who support my way of life, along with more people who appreciate my supporting they’re way of life. While I don’t feel I have an abundance of social time in my life, maybe the amount and quality of that time will slowly increase as I grow in my practice. Maybe, once again, patience is the key. Time to meditate.