The Art of Making Friends with Yourself


The great meditation master Chögyam Trungpa once defined meditation as “the continual act of making friends with yourself”. Over the years I’ve given a lot of thought to that statement and I’d like to take a moment to share with you what it means to me.

In order to make a true friend, we need to repeatably be willing to invest our time and attention in that friend. That means making the effort to truly get to know and understand our friend. Sharing their deepest fears while realising and accepting their shortcomings. It also means recognising and affirming their greatest strengths and attributes. We need to not only understand our friend’s feelings, but we need to be empathetic to them even when it is a bit uncomfortable for us. We need to be willing to make the effort to be supportive and caring toward our friend, always letting them know that their state of being is important to us, even a priority to us. Sometimes that may mean self-sacrifice on our part to do what we must to be there for our friend.

You see, regular meditation practice is the art of doing all these things for and with ourselves. And since we all are constantly evolving and changing we are never really the same person for long, so we must be willing to re make our friendship with ourselves continuously. This is what the practice of meditation is really all about. Caring for ourselves like a true friend. Making the time in our lives to re discover ourselves over and over again like a true friend would, through good times and bad. That means being willing to do so when things are easy and we are getting along nicely, but especially when we are not, when things have become difficult or strained. Meditation is the art of continually making friends with ourselves.

About the author: Donald Francis is a meditation teacher and freelance writer. Incorporates art, music, poetry and literature into his teaching and makes meditation interesting and relevant to everyone. He lives in London, England.

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Sangha Without Borders is currently physically located in London, UK