The friendship attitude … (and dogs)

Every Sunday night at the Ashram we have Satsang/Spiritual Dialogue (a community of people who gather together for spiritual dialogue). WHAT!!!  Usually Swami Anand Krishna is leading the way but this week he was visiting Jakarta so we watched a u-tube video with the great master imparting some of his wisdom on the attitude of friendship.  The talk was about the friendship attitude saying that the spiritual seeker must go beyond friendship and hostility.  He is to go beyond both.  Everything comes in pairs, black & white, good & bad, commendable and not commendable.  When you have been blessed with the goddess of wealth the goddess of misfortune is just around the corner.  Duality.  When friendship is developed you are making enemies just as fast.  Friendship is based on liking, Swami Krishna suggests that we develop friendship as a attitude instead.  Does that mean you are friendly with everyone without attachment?  Yes, the answer was yes.  Keeping friendship as a attitude frees you from duality.   I still have a question lingering in my mind … how then do we classify those people in our lives that ARE our friends, for myself friendships are imperative and needed, they are the people who surround me, they are my circle, my front row, they are the ones who love me even when I am having difficulty loving myself, these are my friends.  I love them without condition, I don’t expect anything from them, a feel a sense of extreme grateful for their love and support, deep conversations and a simple knowing they always there for me.  It’s a reciprocal exchange of love & energy.

Honour + Respect = a friendship attitude.

Transcending duality into oneness, respecting the fact that we are all the same on the inside.  That makes sense to me, having friendship without attachment, a friend is a friend without any expectations or attachments.  Looking at the analogy of milk for example, if you see milk in a cup, a glass, a jug, it is milk, its all the same on the inside each container the outside packaging is different the milk is the same on the inside.

Respect animals and let animals be animals, do not take them as a pets. Monkeys should be in the jungle swinging from trees, I agree.  Elephants should be roaming around, living in their family packs as elephants do, I agree.  Dogs should be dogs when we take them as pets we are depriving them of the right to be a dog;  more and more dogs are dying of lukemia, apparently they are unhappy.

A couple of questions popped into my mind about dogs, how does a dog live without a human?  Dogs roaming free in the streets, I don’t see the benefit to them, I don’t see how that is letting them be free to live their lives with respect.  As I walk through the streets of Ubud I see dog after dog roaming the streets, beat up, mangy, skinny and its appears looking for some love and attention.  I think of my dogs and have often been heard saying if I were to come back as a dog I would want to come back as a Shih Tzu and have owner like myself.  Shrek and Roxy both have/had a life that any dog would wish for; love, attention, lots of walks on the ocean, grooming, food, comfortable surroundings and I will say it again loads of love and attention.  So many times I would swear I could see them smiling.   I cannot wrap my brain around understanding that dogs would be happier roaming the streets to just be dogs.  To just be a dog to wander, to breed, to be with other dogs on their own accord.  My perspective is that dogs are happier with the human, there are so many efforts to rescue dogs, to take them in, to look after them to feed them, to love them because they cannot make it on their own in our big bad world, they need humans and humans need dogs.  To me this is the greatest form of unconditional love you will ever find.

Dogs have become domesticated and I believe it has been a blessing to the dog.  Perhaps I am not seeing it clearly but to me dogs are meant to be loved and cherished just that same way they love and cherish their humans. There is nothing sweeter than coming home to that happy wagging tail, the uncontrollable excitement, complete non-judgement and true blue unconditional love.  I love dogs and wish I could care for them all, take them all off the street and give love to each and every one of them.





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