Maitri Bhavana

Monthly Group Meditation Practice For Those Who Are Seriously Ill

“In this practice we share health with other people—in fact, all sentient beings. It involves developing a sense of immense generosity and being willing to suffer for others. One’s own personal gain and achievement could be shared—in fact, given up.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Maitri Bhavana is a meditation on loving kindness that is practiced for those who are seriously ill, either physically or mentally. The Sanskrit word maitri means friendliness, or loving-kindness, while bhavana means virtue or quality. So maitri bhavana is the practice of expanding loving-kindness without limits, or unlimited friendliness. It cultivates our compassion through taking on the sense of suffering of others, provides an opportunity to share our health with them, and acknowledges our deep interconnectedness.

On the first Sunday of each month we include this practice as part of our Sunday Morning Community Practice. To explicitly include a relative or friend who is seriously ill in this practice, you may add their names to the list either by writing it in on the list posted at the Center or by sending a message to the General Info contact center. You could include someone who is suffering for whom you feel a personal concern, such as a relative dying of cancer or suffering from a serious mental or physical illness. It would not be appropriate, for example, to include someone who has the flu or a sprained ankle. Be sure to include both the name of the individual as well as the illness. You can submit the same name(s) each month if you like, but we do not “carry over” the names from month to month.