In the Buddha’s time it was a common practice for more senior students of the Buddha to help the more junior students with their questions. This was a mentoring relationship and the senior students were called kalyana mitta. The phrase “kalyana mitta” comes from the Pali Buddhist texts and means admirable friend or admirable companion.
The Buddha thought highly of the benefit from kalyana mittas and in the Samyutta Nikaya text (SN 45.2) he said: “Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, and colleagues, he can be expected to develop and pursue the noble eightfold path.”
Since the Buddha thought highly of kalyana mittas that is good enough for us and the TBC decided to offer the service of kalyana mittas to our sangha. This kalyana mitta service is being offered as part of our Dharma in Action program which also offers many other programs such as meditation for teens, books through bars, prayers for peace day, a winter clothing drive with Mt Tabor Church, etc. Thanks to Sister Vernice for directing our Dharma in Action program.
We offer two levels of kalyana mitta:
First Level Kalyana Mitta: We have certain senior students who are offering to discuss basic questions you may have about Buddhism or about our center. Feel free to ask them any basic questions about our center or about Buddhism. This first level is open to everyone.
Second Level Kalyana Mitta: This second level is a benefit of membership and is only open to members. We have a list of 8 senior students who have been approved by Losang to teach or to lead a class. These 8 senior students are offering to speak with members (in person or by phone or on line) to have more in depth discussions about practice related topics. This is a way for members to hear a different perspective about the practice they are working on and possibly to gain more clarity around their practice.
If you would like to arrange to speak with a Kalyana Mitta or would like to learn more about the program then please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. This program is offered as a service to our community and there is no charge.