|The Buddha-to-come, Metteyya ("Friend"), Ladakh, Himalayan India (Sahil Vohra/flickr)|
|Theravada novice, Indonesia (Massulan/flickr)|
- [*As AN 8.54 points out, this means associating with noble spiritual friends (kalyana mittas), learning from them, and emulating their good qualities.]
|Buddha, Bodh Gaya (Chandrasekaran arum/flickr)|
"Furthermore, one develops right intention... right speech... right action (karma)... right livelihood... right effort... right mindfulness... and right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.
"This is how a meditator with noble friends, companions, and associates develops and pursues the Noble Eightfold Path [which ennobles one, i.e., results in enlightenment and being set FREE by the Truth (Veritas liberabit vos): liberation from all further rebirth and suffering (nirvana)].
|The Eyes of Wisdom are always also the Eyes of Compassion (cabrenna.com/WQ)|
The Buddha as BEST friend
|Ahh, nirvana! (Plsrj/flickr)|
- that beings (devas and humans) once subject to rebirth have gained release from rebirth,
- that beings once subject to aging have gained release from aging,
- that beings once subject to death have gained release from death,
- that beings once subject to (suffering manifesting as) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair [as well as association with the unloved, separation from the loved, not getting what one wants and, in brief, the Five Aggregates of Clinging] have gained release from all of these.
|Mahayana novices (wellhappypeaceful.com)|