The venerable Ananda once came to the Buddha with the brand new insight that friends is the half of the holy life. Buddha said not so Ananda, not so, friends are all in the holy life.
Having friends is indeed a marvel. I have some friends without whom living the holy life would be so much more difficult.
In one of the last posts I mentioned that I had no more vomits and nausea, only the pain in the stomach left. The same kind of pain again a doctor 2 years ago suspected to be caused by pancreas cancer. It was not cancer but still notalble as unpleasant physical feeling. There it was again, since the mid of the vassa, pain in the left shoulder and neck and in the stomach, radiating to the heart so much that it was difficult at times to keep the body upright. I have a tendency to bend to the left anyway from one leg being a bit shorter and I have sometimes light shingle attacks, most often on the left side. I didn’t speak about it, since these pains are all familiar to me and they are bearable without taking anything. Ajahn Suphan says: ‘Pain is your like your best friend, comes often and stays long. Learn to be happy with it.’ Well, I am trying. But, and yes there is an undertone of lamentation in my voice, I do not like pain, in the contrary.