"In her kitchen at dinnertime, six friends are sitting around a long country table yakking away about not much, laughing, eating two kinds of ice cream and apple pie and expensive chocolates after a large meal of leftovers…..
She, though, is sitting in a chair just away from the table, in the corner, watching. Or maybe not watching—maybe she’s just being there—listening, kind of smiling, occasionally saying a few words and then falling silent again.
If you were angry, you might think she was angry; if you were sad, you might think she was sad; if you were lonely or bored or tired or scared or feeling above it all or deeply, deeply depressed or very happy, you might think she was that.
Which means that she, is doing nothing but quietly being there, is doing her work well: she’s being what Ram Dass says she is: a kalyanamitra, a “special friend,” a mirror that shows you — if you dare to take a look on a dark Saturday night - your mind.
From To Love Abundantly: Sharon Salzberg's Journey on the Path