Living in Love Award: Maitri & Walls

As part of her prize, MindMindful has shared this post with us. It appears only on my blog, but her’s is definitely worth a visit! There is even a unique post of mine that appears there (also part of the prize for the Living in Love Award).


I am working my way through Ocean of Dharma – The Everyday Wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. It has 365 entries, but I don’t read one each day, so it will take more than a year, probably, to get all the way through. Though — capricious elf that I am — I reserve the right to throw aside the linear approach, & read one at random. Anytime I want to:)

Some of the offerings are truly spot on & resonate deeply, strongly. And this is one:

The term maitri, loving-kindness, or even compassion, is generally rather sentimental & weak in the English language. It has certain connotations connected with the popular concept of charity & being kind to our neighbors. The real concept of maitri is different from that ……. maitri is not just being kind & nice. It is the understanding that one has to become one with the situation ……. 0ne has to overcome the barrier that one has formed between oneself & others. If you remove this barrier & open yourself, then automatically real understanding & clarity will develop in your mind.

I think in our culture, or at least in the little slice of life in which I’ve learned by experience, being kind, charitable, etc is practiced as an act apart from ourselves. <> are kind to <> (Or, mostly, we are NOT……) Charity, kindness is seen as being somehow separate from us, from The Way We Usually Are.

I am increasingly understanding, though, more about how really being generous, kind, compassionate toward someone is being generous, kind, compassionate towards mySELF. And how it begins with treating myself this way. Rinpoche here is making it clear just how that is so: With no barrier between You & Me, then any act of compassion is not <> <> It is, instead, <>. Who would not want that?!?! But ……….

******My very first visceral feeling about this is: Since I do not believe deep down that I deserve love & compassion, how could I possibly extend such things toward mySELF??

******Then, my cognitive understanding of this becomes: If we are one, & I do not deserve love & compassion, how could I possibly extend such things toward anybody ELSE??

******THEN, I see the clue toward the advent of the surging violence, hatred, vitriol of the modern world. The seed of all the trouble & sorrow is this: <> believe, & act upon the belief, that I am separate from <> Those barriers we all erect, & then act as if are real, reinforce the myth of separation, <> from <> Our unexamined belief in the walls, the fences, & the need to have them, to keep them, to strengthen them, is what creates this nasty, divisive, suffering world we collectively live in.

The only real choice, then…………??

May the walls tumble, the fences fall, the barriers break away ……………….