Whenever there is a problem we socialize. When we are sick we go to a doctor. When we are hungry we go to a cook. When we want to laugh we go to a movie.

My question is : are these social interactions always helpful in solving our problems ? Is "if problem then socialize with right people" formula always helpful ?


Not always:

  • If you're sick and go to someone who's not a doctor, who's incompetent or a thief, that won't help (except perhaps as a placebo)
  • If you're sick with an incurable (untreatable) illness and go to a doctor, that won't help (well it might help with managing symptoms and explaining what's happening)

The Sigalovada Sutta (DN 31) details long lists of examples and differences, between "good socialising" and "bad socialising" for lay people.

I think Buddhism includes two themes:

Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

Maha-parinibbana Sutta (DN 16)


As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.

Upaddha Sutta (SN 45.2)

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It really depends on the nature of the problem.

It also depends upon whom you are approaching.

Sometimes its best to sit in meditation to ponder on the problem whose answer is subjective.

Some problems are solved through prespective of other people.

Its not really a good idea to go public with your problems all the time.

Also that will annoy other people and create bad image about you in them. Which just matters in social life.

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  • You are a strong social supporter it seems but Buddha has praised seclusion every now and then. – Dheeraj Verma Aug 18 '18 at 5:29
  • @DheerajVerma you misread me. Infact I am telling the other way round. Also I am saying it is dependent on the problem at hand. Neither total seclusion nor total public dependance. The middle way. Follow the middle way. – user13135 Aug 18 '18 at 6:58
  • @DheerajVerma If Buddha praised total ascetic seclusion he would not have followers, nor would he go back to Rahula and his father, nor preach Dharma. How else make the world better if not by acts of Selflessness? – user13383 Aug 18 '18 at 8:56
  • @DheerajVerma ok now I got what you meant by your comment....I am not a social supporter...you have no idea about what goes on at my end...savvy. – user13135 Aug 18 '18 at 16:11
  • @FriedrickNietzsche Correct me if I am wrong but essentially what you are saying is that it is not a good idea to spoil your image in the minds of people by taking your every problem to them. You agree that it is a good idea to take at least some of your problems to people. But isn't there mindfulness in public conversation? Yes. Yet Buddha says develop love for seclusion and solitude.That is manage all of your problems by yourself over time. This is true independence unlike socialist attitude towards life where we throw a problem to public and expect a solution. – Dheeraj Verma Aug 18 '18 at 16:28

Householder Dheeraj Verma, interested,

yes, seeking for refuge and socialize much with it is always needed. No change to progress without making debts, and the main question is simply toward whom.

socializing with the right people begins with seeking and increasing ones going for refuge and gratitude:

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Dheeraj Verma asked: Is "if problem then socialize with right people" formula always helpful ? Yes, and if no wise can be found, or one is not capable to find: stay alone, for there is no benefit from sozialicing with foods at all.

AN 3.26: Sevitabba Sutta — Should be associated

"Associating with someone low is deterioration, Associating an equal there's no deterioration Therefore bend down to a superior, It is quick growth."

Therefore people in traditional countries say, that one you may have traced a wise, do all that you don't lose his track, even if he casts you away.

The Pali word for socializing is Sangama and nothing more conductive for long term happiness to seek and nourish, give into, socialization with the Sublime Buddha, his Dhamma and the carrier of the heritage, his monastic Sangha, something hard to find, hard ever to meet, hard gained possibility.

Extended talk on especially this matter, socializing, incl. transcriptions, can be found here (current in German only): Sozialisieren - សង្គម [Sangama].

May no one, being that blessed to trace of what is worthy to associate miss the requirement to nourish that inwardly and outwardly, since they are headed to do no more come back soon, and would wait till you my come one day into the right mood!

Large topics on admirable socializing can be found given also here: Admirable friend [kalyāṇamitta] and a generouse talk on how to learn to judge good association is: The Power of Judgment, right next to the collection of advices to become independent in need to invest further into new association: Association with People of Integrity.

Once having gained independency for further progress toward liberation, althought still conductive to stay in strong association with The Noble Ones, then one, having reached the stream, and only then, one can make oneself, with the Dhamma, to an island. So put all effort into letting go of bad sozializing and association with fools and to seek with all effort sozializing which is headed to liberation, unbound. That's the meaning and reason for Buddhas (re)legion (bound, robe).

(Note that this gift of Dhamma is not dedicated for trade, exchange, stacks or entertainment but as a means to make merits toward release from this wheel)

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