by Scott | December 2018
Friendship is the most important element in the spiritual path. Kalyanamitta means “Spiritual Friend.” To seek out and find deep relationships with each other is crucial to transformation. We need support for our practice. For our abstinence. For renunciation of addictive behavior. And we can find that support in our Sangha. Our friends.
When the PDX Inter-Sangha needed to fill the Mentorship Chair, I eagerly volunteered. I formed a committee that went to every meeting in Portland and asked for a representative to come to a Group Conscience Meeting regarding Mentorship. The word, “Mentor,” has unfortunate connotations. It’s not a top-down process, like Sponsorship in A.A. It is a mutual understanding. It outlines a path that both people can follow. Together.
The Portland, Oregon (PDX) Mentorship Program is an outline for one person, with experience in the practice, to share that experience with someone who is new to it. It’s a guide. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, what do a Mentor and Mentee do? What is their path? It can be as simple as “checking in.” Have you read the book? Do you have a regular, daily practice of sitting meditation? Have you renounced all behaviors that cause harm? For some, however, this is not enough. And the PDX Mentorship Program supplies ideas and information that people might not have thought about before. It supplies definitions, guidelines and ideas. It is not perfect.
The Buddha said that “noble friendship is the entire holy life.”
So, to the Sanghas world-wide, I do very much recommend that you read the PDX Mentorship Program. If you are lost, let it show you the path.
If you are interested in viewing a .doc version of this program to edit or otherwise develop for your local sangha or group, click here to grab a copy!