THE KEY TO HAPPINESS AT EVERY LEVEL
10 - 11:15am Pacific Time
This event is online via Zoom
A recording of the event will be accessible for three months, until March 15th, 2022.
If you cannot afford the registration price due to present hardship, please contact [email protected] with a line of explanation for our discounted rate.
IN THE SPIRIT OF THE THEME, WE ARE OFFERING REDUCED RATES FOR GIFTS TO FRIENDS AT $10 PER REGISTRATION.
December 12th, 2021
10 - 11:15am PT
Join David Whyte for an investigation and celebration of the benefits of friendship: its invigorating invitations, loving humiliations and amusing trials, and the necessity for its cyclical and seasonal renewal, both from within and without.
The holidays always bring us close to even faraway friends - they also bring us close, in a kind of inverse intimacy, to all those who we now hold at a distance. That holding at a distance is always a good but sobering measure of a certain ghosted distance from ourselves
As card-carrying human beings we have all been given the ability to make enemies out of every aspect of a given life: the one time friend who offered advice we did not care for, and whom we now regard with suspicion, the life-giving rain beating on our windows become a source of daily complaint and, greatest enemy of all, the implacable adversary looking back at us from the mirror.
But real, elemental friendship is the portal of transformation in every human life. Even Buddha, who seemed to forsake all human contact for a while, returned to the world to offer his insight in repeated acts of friendship with friends and complete strangers alike. He had been a sincere pilgrim, simply trying to cultivate the greatest friendship of all - with wider creation of which human friendship is just a part. His greatest gift was compassion, forbearance and understanding.
In friendship we both cultivate and test our sense of compassion for ourselves and for others. We also look beyond that, for a close and intimate relationship with all the elements of the natural world of which we are a part.
As I overheard myself say in my brief essay on the theme:
The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor of the other: the ultimate touchstone of friendship is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.
- from CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words