Life, Reflection, sketchbook

Learning to practise Maitri

As I realised that day, I felt in dire need of growing some kindness. Maybe it was due to the daily bustle of everyday life, or continuously missing the opportunities to practise, my kindness diminished and receded until some strangers’ kindness took me by such surprise!

As always I turned to Pema in my search for growing kind:

She talks about Maitri, the Budhist concept of loving-kindness. It starts with being honest, loving and compassionate towards oneself. It’s unconditional, she says.

Aspire to be happy. Find the tenderness of feeling love, or the vulnerability of feeling lonely inside yourself.

She encourages us to become aware of when we’re closing down and erecting barriers, and to always have a clear aspiration for happiness:

“May I and others enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.”

Maitri essentially starts with locating in yourself an honest feeling of goodwill, and then encouraging it to expand…

The anteater as always, being helpful: “Without someone to irritate you, you’ll never get a chance to practise.”

Anyway…I’m still on that quest. Drawing about being kind doesn’t really make it happen – I have to actually find the opportunities to practise it in my life.

Related: A divine collision (2011) and My year of spirituality (2015)

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Life

The surprising kindness of strangers

At some point a year or so ago, I learnt that the quality of kindness, like the quality of mercy is not strained…

You may not know this, but I’m a pessimist and a misanthrope…

A few days ago at the gym I was on the treadmill, and my jacket fell off and got tangled at my feet. Luckily as I was making the treadmill stop, a fellow gymmer picked it up for me.

And then I went shopping for art materials…

And a stranger in passing gave me a discount coupon: “Here you take this 20% off coupon, I’m not going to use it.”

All this happened within a few hours of each other. Enough to shake my foundation of pessimism and misanthropy. So worrying. How strange are these people? Totally confused now.

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