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My Meditative Moments

Insight- Maitri

by meditative - April 12th, 2010.
Filed under: Insights For Mindfulness Training.

Befriend oneself unconditionally and listen to the whispered longings of the heart.

Maitri is a Sanskrit word that is often translated into meaning unconditional friendship to oneself- or unconditional acceptance of oneself- rejoicing in one’s whole self… one’s light and one’s shadow. More often than not,we disapprove of ourselves, and in some cases we may even denigrate our own value.Maitri is about beginning to make friends with oneself from the inside out- where affirmations are internally rather than externally derived… a place where one becomes relaxed with oneself… feeling at home with your own mind and body… comfortable within your own skin.

Where does this “friendship” come from?.. as not only is it the basis for compassion, but it’s also the seed of our own happiness and our own well-being. This friendship is cultivated from our relationship to, and our acceptance of all that is challenging, difficult, and painful within oneself.A certain amount of difficulty and pain in one’s life is inevitable and unavoidable. For example, growing old, illness, loss, dying, etc.

Maitri comes from opening up to it all… to our whole range of experience, including all the wanting, hurting, pain, and joy. It’s about courage, and about directly relating to, and facing your experience- whatever is occurring in you.Moving through your fears, you engage a softer, kinder, and more open self… bodhichitta. It is through this kindness to yourself that becomes your basis for becoming more kind to others… opening up and breaking through the protective walls that shelter us from our own fears.

To live fully, we cannot avoid connecting or feeling the whole parts of the human condition. The essence of maitri depends upon a genuine or authentic relationship to oneself. To explore the unknown realm of one’s full being requires nothing less. By beginning to see oneself clearly and honestly, one begins to dissolve the inner walls that separate not only one from truly knowing the parts of oneself, but also from others. When we are so involved with trying to protect ourselves,we are often unable to see the real pain in another. As we look into it, we might see that behind all the fear lies tremendous softness… trusting and abiding oneself

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