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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sketchbook

Angry Soo

I don’t often get angry anymore, and in my middle age it’s mellowed to almost non-existence (though Orin thinks otherwise). In the last few years I’ve found that drawing my anger out is a more constructive way to deal with it. letters home 04

“Pema you have to help me get rid of this black ball of anger. On a good day like today.”

At the time I was reading The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron at the time, sent by my friend Indira. It was amazing for me and I would recommend it if you’re looking for something to help you deal with emotional turbulence.

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