The MEANING OF MAITRI
You may have heard of the sanskrit word “Maitri” which ultimately means unconditional friendship with yourself. It has become more well known over the years through Pema Chodron’s explaination of it HERE where she describes how applying Maitri to one’s life is a powerful antidote for suffering, and how to share it with others in your life.
As a gift to myself, in 2015, I committed to full ownership and responsibility for the name that, I now believe, my higher Self divinely lead me to choose. I chose to do this through legally changing my last name to Maitri, and through the ceremony of marriage and union.
While I understood the concept and was dedicated to embodying what it represented on a higher level, I innately knew that this would be a life-long journey to fully feel Maitri expressed in my life. When I married my then-partner at the time, we both decided to change our last names together during this ritual of union. While the relationship itself has since taken a different course, the name Maitri was an initiation for me and continues to keep me grounded in the practice of unconditional love.
What I now understand, is that though the relationship that lead me to this ritual of union, was actually a ritual of union with myself.
It turns out that the universe takes such commitments very seriously and holds you accountable for such bold decisions. When I am out of alignment with Maitri, it is clear to me, and the practice continues to be to course-correct, and continue coming home to myself every step of the way.
This decision to embody "Maitri" as part of my identity continues to show me exactly what parts of me needed refining to live up to this powerful sanskrit word.
Maitri means unconditional friendship, as the basis of unconditional Love.
Friendship is the highest form of love, both for Self and for Others.
My commitment is to not accepting anything less then this true form of love, while also holding myself responsible for only offering this highest form of love (friendship) to others as a baseline.
When I love and accept others fully, I am receiving this unto myself.
For me, this next evolution of Maitri is allowing the Divine Mother in myself to fully emerge, and offer true, unconditional love. And because she cannot be taken from, there is no end to her ability to give and keep an open heart.
The Divine Mother holds a state of well-being and receiving, a balance that I have personally struggled with most of my life as a primarily action-oriented human.
This is an invitation for me to trust this part of myself, and open to receive her never-ending well of over-flowing love.