Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Parikarmas -Developing friendliness or MAITRI

Today I woke up in a perfectly good mood, somewhere along the way, I found myself snapping at my housekeeper and my father's friend who called to chat. Almost immediately I realised I was being mean and went out of my way to make amends.

As I sat there feeling guilty about my bad behaviour, I realised this stressed out feeling and lack of patience was not my own. I was picking it up from my friend, who had a number of perfectly valid reasons to be stressed out!

Unconsciously we pick up negativity from other people and then pass it on as if it was ours.

Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal with which we intend to burn others. We end up burning our self first - Buddha

Here we are picking up other people's anger and burning our self for no reason at all!

So how about sharing a feeling of Friendliness or Maitri with other people with the same generosity we show when sharing our bad mood! Osho says very wisely that if it is difficult to share friendly feelings with people, start with nature. Be friendly to the sun, moon, stars, trees, plants and animals. Its much easier. What is now considered to be Pagan Nature worship helped nurture this seed of friendliness, love and compassion we all have in us.

I had Pudding, my delightful street dog spend the day with me and it worked like a charm! :)

Yoga talks about 4 social attitudes or Parikarmas -

Maitri (Friendliness) - Developing this feeling of friendliness towards all things, not just your friends, family or the beautiful or lovable but towards all beings and all things in all situations.

Mudita (Joy) - Choosing to maintain your peace and joyfulness in all situations.

Karuna (Compassion)- The ability to empathise with some one's misery and to act in whatever way we can to reduce it.

Upeksha (Indifference) - Showing indifference to the negative qualities we see in others or situations and instead focusing on the good. This does not mean we need to become doormats, it simply suggests that you look for the good in every person and situation instead of the bad.

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