Via "Insight Astoria"...
Everyone's welcome. We want to belong and feel connected to others in meaningful ways. Creating a community around mindfulness practice helps us connect with each other.
Creating a community of practitioners involves a natural process and an intentional one. We are naturally drawn to the dharma, to teachings that free us from suffering and increase peace in the world. Becoming a community of spiritual friends, or kalyanamitras, may take some effort and intentionality.
A kalyanamitra is a friend who supports our development, who tells us the truth when we need to hear it. A kalyanamitra stands by us and helps us when we need help. What does it take to create a community of like-minded practitioners, kalyanamitras, or spiritual friends?
We need to develop both individually and collectively. Individually, we develop in mindfulness by practicing and inquiring into our practice; collectively we express loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity toward each other. The combination of individual and collective practice helps to create a community of kalyanamitras.
Learning and practicing mindfulness and inquiry together can help us create a community that supports ourselves and others with kindness, compassion, and wisdom.