Every weekday morning, a meditation friend, Rose, and i carpool 40 minutes to the hospital in Keene, New Hampshire for our radiation treatments. This is Rose's fourth bout with lymphoma. After 9 months of monthly chemotherapy, and, now, 5 weeks of radiation, her hair is growing back, so softly. Spending a couple of hours every day with my spiritual friend Rose is a godsend. The Buddha said that our spiritual friends are the entire spiritual path.
A certain camaraderie develops in the radiation waiting room, even though we're all sharing only small talk. Ron lives on the other side of New Hampshire, and i pass him every morning in the dressing room because his appointment is right after mine.
Yesterday was Ron's last day of radiation, and he brought a bucket of alstromeria for the 6 radiation technicians. He also gave a rose to Rose (ahem :) and a rose to me. Who better to share the joy of the end of radiation treatment than your radiation comrades? They KNOW, viscerally, what you're going through.
Research shows that people in cancer support groups live longer. This is an example of the value of friendship, the kind of friendship where you can talk about your deepest fears and deepest longings, and the other person KNOWS.
What's your deepest longing? What's your deepest fear? Spend some time with a spiritual friend today.