If Pocahontas had been given the foresight to see what devastating consequences her actions and belief in the possibility of peace would have brought upon her people, I wonder if she would have avoided befriending the English or not.
We all need support and friendship, regardless of circumstances. But where do people turn when friends and family are simply no longer there, or can't help us through a difficult time, or need all our care and attention and can't give us any in return? Thank goodness for befriending projects, who help fill the empty spaces where care, support and a listening ear need to be.
Loving kindness towards ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. It means we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already.
Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.
There are many strengths in modern society, but one of its weaknesses is the breakdown of many of the old structures and networks that supported people in times of crisis and need. Whenever we lose a strengthening element in society, we need to replace it with alternative systems as quickly as possible. Befriending schemes are a crucial part of this process, because they fill the gap that social erosion has left in the lives of so many vulnerable people.
May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending each other. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness- the children, the aged, the unprotected- be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land.