M A I T R I • • •
How often do we extend compassion for others but forget to access that same compassion to ourselves?
Maitri is loosely defined as loving-kindness or unconditional friendship with oneself. It is looking within and cultivating that sense of acceptance of ourselves and not looking outside for it.
It’s a sense of feeling at home with your own mind and your own body. Maitri is the basis of compassion the seed of happiness and well-being. All of this has to do with our relationship to pain our relationship with difficulty. Now in this human life there’s pain that is inevitable such as illness and death. Then there’s pain experienced from love— the more that you love and the stronger it is then the more sadness and grief there is at the loss of that love. There’s a lot of suffering but it is important not to struggle against the pain in our life.
How do we do this? Ask yourself “Can I sit with this pain without trying to fix it? Can I stay present and let it open me?” These moments of unwanted feelings are the moments we put up the barrier when we put up the wall around ourselves we shut down we close off we harden out of fear that there’s more pain coming. I know this is true from my own experience. Anticipating that a wave of pain and sadness is coming is enough to close my heart. I am learning that letting that uncomfortable feeling come and just notice the physical sensations brought about by the incessant chatter in my head is the journey. THIS is the very moment when we have to get intimate with these barriers that we put up. Getting to know these barriers allow it to melt and dissolve. We have so much familiarity with negative emotions but how much do we really know about them? We really don’t know them that well. When these emotions arise there’s a sense of panic or freeze that automatically happens— this is the ego. We erect this ego all the time to protect ourselves from the fear of feeling pain. How do we overcome this? By being aware and acknowledging what has come up and extending that loving-kindness to ourselves. By giving that compassionate attention to fear opens a doorway to our awakening.
1 hour ago