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March 10, 2013

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Very nice post Brian.

Chogyam Rinpoche taught that Maitri is unconditional friendliness to oneself. This type of unconditional love towards oneself is not the same as egotistical blinding self-love. It is somewhat similar to a loving mother that embraces her child no matter how screwed up the child is. It isn't that she is in denial of her child's condition, but rather that she loving accepts the child "as is". It is from this place of grace that she instructs her child how to live a better way than he or she is behaving. It is in this "safe place" where the child can hopefully flourish from.

Meditation can be very shallow in what we allow to be seen. This is because we have learned to be enabling-shallow in our self-awareness of our self. We do not want to see the truth about our flawed personality traits. Allowing the safe place of Maitri into our meditation as a base foundation allows us to somewhat objectively view our thoughts that arise without defensive attachment. We can watch the thoughts and see underneath to the roots of their motives without condemnation and guilt. We become more detached from our ego-self.

In allowing the roots of our thoughts to be exposed, a better understanding of our self is seen. In this light and new understanding, compassion is felt not just for our self but humankind. An inward transformation can take place. A hardened self-protected heart begins to soften. In this new cultivated ground, Maitri towards oneself and others begins to sprout and bud.

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