How to mindfully build friendships
1 September 2017 | beando_admin
People who meditate make good friends.
People who meditate have an increased capacity for empathy, compassion, spontaneity and connection – they know how to pay attention be present and listen.
People who meditate learn pretty quickly that it’s not all about them. And that there is more to be gained when you step away from self-centred thinking towards a more open and generous state of being.
These are all qualities needed to be a good friend. And they emerge naturally through meditation practice. It works the other way too; when you meditate you will find that good people will naturally gravitate towards you. They will want to spend time with you.
In his book Catching the Big Fish, our yogi hero David Lynch says when you learn to meditate:
And that’s true too. There is a lot of talk about the power of attraction but people who meditate make good friends.
Accept Rather Than Expect
Perhaps though, the most important component to building friends mindfully is the capacity to accept rather than expect. This is fundamental to the success of any relationship. If you think about it, the whole of one’s life is determined by relationships. We have relationships with each other, with our work, with our needs, with our community and with our environment. We are in a state of continuous connectivity; the success of which depends on how we relate and respond to each of those types of connection.
Learning how to accept, to let-go and release yourself from expectation emerges naturally out of meditation practice. Being with people just as they are without judgement, without critical analysis on your part is good for you and your friends. So instead of spending all of your time expecting your friends to do this or that, or say this or that, just accept who they are and what they are moment-to-moment. It takes practice, but meditation is the key.
Things and People As They Are
Once you add meditation into your daily routine and nurture the capacity to accept things as they are, you will go easy on yourself too. You begin to trust in yourself; confidence builds, allied with a subtle sense of empowerment and openness. You realise after a while that you don’t need to spend your energy trying to project the person you think you need to be in order to appear popular or successful. It’s exhausting and all you end up doing is unintentionally appearing to others as manipulative, closed off and lacking in authenticity. There is no way then that people will want to sit next to you!
We see a lot of good friendships develop in our community meditation classes. Similarly, we often see new collaborations and creative connections develop in our business meditation programmes, as people begin to nurture their own inbuilt sense of connectivity. We would suggest this is one of the most effective outputs of our meditation programmes.
Are you interested in learning to accept rather than expect and nurture great friendships? Get in touch today.