Cultivating friendliness is an art form in itself. When we cultivate a friendly mind we are developing the skill of love in action, otherwise known as compassion, KARUNA. :-)
Developing a friendly mind has many positive effects on oneself as well as those surrounding us. “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi’s words continue to resonate within me. We must become the source of love.
As we deepen our friendship our attitude toward life shifts greatly. We become more calm, happy and giving. We see the world through friendly eyes and an open heart. We become more open to new experiences and new people. Friendship softens us as we take time to learn about other people. This begins to break down energetic barriers that we put up either knowingly or unknowingly. The feeling of separation ceases to exist as we realize we are of the same essence. Grace fills our lives with more beauty, abundance and trust. Our lives feel more full and complete, more satisfying.
Sounds easy, right?! But when we walk in the world, we are constantly bombarded with the energy of others. As we develop the Spiritual Warrior within us, we use friendliness as our shield to repel others negativity. My sister uses the motto, “I’m just going to kill them with kindness.” Kill them with kindness. I think about this and have spoken with her about it many times. Why must you use the word kill? Of course she doesn’t literally mean she wants to kill them. She means she wants to extinguish those negative qualities others project on her with her response of kindness. I consider her a true Yogini! (Female practitioner of Yoga, male practictioners are called Yogis, and together we are Yogins!) To be kind toward someone who is being blatantly mean, is skill to be cultivated indeed!
However, with continued practice, we can develop this loving kindness toward ourselves and other people. Just like learning to play an instrument, we too can acquire the attributes of friendliness. I like to imagine all people in the world striving for maitri, friendliness. What a joyful world we would live in if everyone practiced friendliness toward each other. There would be a decrease in crime and war, self medication and less need for all those self-help books!
Buddhism has a mediation of practicing loving kindness called Metta Mediation. It is a practice of developing love and kindness for ourselves, a good friend, someone we don’t have any feelings for, someone who challenges us or that we may not like, and for all living beings. It is a process of sending out friendly feelings and love not only to people we already like or love but for those in which we don’t. In doing so, we begin to develop friendliness and love for all beings with equal measure. Like a Mahatma - realized being. Like Gandhi!
I invite all readers to try this form of meditation for themselves to see what happens. Espeically during this HOLY DAY SEASON! Does this shift your feelings? How does this change your perception? What do you notice that you didn’t realize before.
I hope you feel free to share your experiences with us! I’m looking forward to what you have to say and how you feel!
Om mani padme hum
We are the essence of each other!