An exercise in how to practise Maitri.

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An exercise in how to practise Maitri.

Post  Sue on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:48 am

What does Maitri ( मैत्री ) mean?
Maitri (pronounced “my-tree”) is a Sanskrit word that means “loving-kindness” or “unconditional friendliness.” It refers to a depth of unconditional and compassionate self-acceptance extended toward oneself. When we extend maitri to ourselves, we can find the way to a happier, more joyous life, despite our circumstances.


An exercise in how to practise Maitri.
Firstly, find yourself a comfortable place to relax for about 10 minutes.Once you are settled comfortably take a few deep slow breaths to centre yourself and relax and close your eyes.
Now cast your mind back to a time when you may have been hurt in some way… either your feelings or some actual trauma. Sense how you felt when someone came to your aid with a hug or a kind word when you were lonely or hurt or just gave you a sense of direction and purpose when you felt lost and adrift in the sea of life; anything that made you feel better and was helpful. Feel into that moment… what impressions are you getting; whether it be sights, sounds or smell? Relax into it and enjoy that feeling of receiving for a few minutes… feel the loving kindness that surrounds you.

Next I would like you to think of a time when you have extended a helping hand to another living thing in distress whether it be an animal, bird or human. How did you feel as reached out with compassion… feel deeply into the thoughts and emotions of the moment for a few minutes remembering what it feels like to give of yourself.

And lastly I would like you to combine the two feelings in a circle of both the giving and the receiving of energies of unconditional loving kindness and unconditional compassion within and for yourself. Breathe the energies in and breathe them out, breathe them in and breathe them out. There is no need to attach yourself to the thoughts, feelings or sensations within just let them go without judgement or even to wonder whether you think you need or even deserve … breathe in maitri and breathe out maitri and stay in the circle as long as you feel the need to give and receive.
When you feel rested and complete; open your eyes, come gently back and rest.
This is a good exercise to practise daily… in the evening before bed for a restful nights sleep and in the morning to face the day.
Namaste xxx
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Sue
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