Loving Kindness is the definition of ‘maitri’.  According to Buddhist cosmology Maitri is within all sentient beings, that means ‘you’! The seeds are there, they are part of the human spiritual DNA. Like any seed, growth and development depend upon environment.  If you nurture the seeds of Maitri they will grow and blossom into loving kindness and unconditional love.

How does a person tend the garden of Maitri?

The first suggestion is to have a relationship with the ‘sky’.  When you have a moment look up into the vast blue sky. Be open to her infinite possibilities.  When you sit quietly outside, look skyward and be fully present with the vast open blue sky.  When you sit inside for a meditation, know that you have an inner blue sky, vast and open.

Be fully present in the moments of your life.  Some moments are quiet, some are filled with the abundance of life in motion.  Be fully present.  Bring gentleness in to each moment.

When you meditate and thoughts enter your awareness, let them go gently into the vast blue sky, flying lightly like a bird on the wing.  People from the WEST have a tendency to  beat them selves up when, in the practices of meditation and mindfulness they struggle to manage thoughts and emotions.  Be gentle with yourself, just as you are with a child who is learning new skills.

In order to nurture loving kindness in your Self, you must be gentle and loving.  Thoughts are not bad, emotions, even anger and fear are not bad.  They are.  To be free, my dears, you need to skillfully and gently learn to change patterns that are harmful to you, including your negative self talk.

When you have moments of Shenpa, accept the emotion, which will run through your body in 90 seconds.  Allow feelings of Shenpa to be Wordless.  Do not make a chain that begins with that uncomfortable feeling we call Shenpa.The first link in the chain is a word, and all the next links are words that grow into a storyline.  That storyline holds onto the Shenpa, and each time you add a link, the Shenpa is activated.  Therefore, NO Shenpa Talk!

Be gentle, be kind, the seeds are growing.  Be watchful and nurture living in the present moment, in love and light.