When I was in secondary school, I had the wish to study in Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang. I was, therefore, very happy and excited when I received confirmation of acceptance from the Universiti Sains Malaysia. However, when I came to study in Penang, I felt very lonely, and kept on asking myself why I chose to be here as I was very home sick.
Fortunately for me, in my third year, I move in to the Kalyana Mitra House near the university. The house is a double-storey semi-detached with a calm and serene interior atmosphere. All the house residents are from out-station, so Kalyana Mitra House became our home away from home. Here, we all share our joys and sorrows.
From the daily life in Kalyana Mitra House, I learnt tolerance, equanimity and gratitude. We are all from different personal and educational backgrounds, so by staying together in a kalyana mitra spirit, we learnt from our differences and from each other, deriving gratitude in return. We learnt not to demand change from others but the patience and tolerance to accept their varying attitudes and behaviours.
I am glad to have the chance to listen to the Buddha Dharma here in the Kalyana Mitra House and to come closer to the kalaya mitras from whom I learn and share the Dharma. Optimum Human Rebirth is precious but to me, the precious things in life now is staying in Kalyana Mitra House and having a group of friends who can share and help one another.
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The Buddhist tradition has a lovely concept of friendship. This is the notion of the 'Kalyana-mitra,' the ‘noble friend'. Your Kalyana-mitra, your noble friend, will not accept pretension, but will gently and very firmly confront you with your own blindness. No-one can see their life totally. As there is a blind spot in the retina of the human eye, there is also in the soul a blind side where you are not able to see. Therefore, you must depend on the one you love to see for you, where you cannot see for yourself. Your Kalyana-mitra complements your vision in a kind and critical way. Such friendship is creative and critical; it is willing to negotiate awkward and uneven territories of contradiction and woundedness.
John O'Donohue "Anam cara" pp 48-9