RelationshipsHuman relationships are at once the greatest treasure and among the greatest challenges we can experience in life. Buddhism teaches that all life is interconnected, and that we share particularly deep bonds with our close family. It also stresses the value of good friends who help us advance in life.

Our relationships mirror the state of our own life and often what we perceive to be the "fault" of another person actually highlights something we need to address in our own lives. The ideal is to respect the highest potential within our own lives and the lives of others. When we bow to the image in a mirror, the image in the mirror likewise bows to us.

Ultimately opening our hearts and developing our compassion through Buddhist practice will enable us to value all our human relationships, and appreciate the extent to which our lives are supported in myriad ways by the efforts of others.

As Nichiren said:

"When a tree has been transplanted, though fierce winds may blow, it will not topple if it has a firm stake to hold it up. But even a tree that has grown up in place may fall over if its roots are weak. Even a feeble person will not stumble if those supporting him are strong, but a person of considerable strength, when alone, may fall down on an uneven path."

Three Tripitaka Masters Pray for Rain (WND, 598)

From SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

A discussion on friendship with youth representatives


A discussion with youth representatives on the nature of love

"If you remain sincere in your interactions with others, you will naturally come to find yourself surrounded by good friends."

"In order to overcome our prejudices, we must constantly strive to develop the habit of looking at ourselves from the point of view of others. Realizing that all people have both good points and bad, in the end the important thing is to strive to combat our own inner obstinacy and narrow-mindedness."

"There is no true joy in a life lived closed up in the little shell of the self. When you take one step to reach out to people, when you meet with others and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart. Your life is transformed."

Daisaku Ikeda

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