Maitri: the Buddhist practice of self-acceptance
October 26 - October 27£60 – £100
What is maitri?
The Buddhist conception of compassion is profound. On one level there is a strong drive to let go of ‘self’ and put others first. But, before we can truly do that we need profound self-acceptance. Otherwise we might waste our life-energy in self-hatred. Or worse still, our ‘compassion’ will be eaten up in unconscious agendas.
This is why the practice of ‘maitri’ or self-acceptance is central to what Buddhists call bodhicitta or the awakening heart. We have to accept the most unwanted parts of our own self-experience to really be of benefit to others.
The importance of the body in self-acceptance
In this weekend, Alistair is teaching a profound somatic form of self-acceptance that begins with our human bodies. It can be a challenging practice because we often punish and sabotage our own happiness in many unconscious ways. Working with the body and the insights of his teacher, Reggie Ray, Alistair explores the real and lasting love for our human lives that can truly open our hearts.
The grounded body also provides the strong container for us to work with parts of ourselves that we usually drive into the dark.
In this weekend we’ll be exploring:
- the fundamental exercises of somatic relaxation of bodily tension
- within that wider field of somatic awareness, contacting the field of ‘ultimate bodhicitta’
- opening the heart and being able to stay with what is arising there
- recognising the tendencies to exit our experience through rejection, longing or dissociation
- holding negative and unwanted ‘parts’ of our self-experience in the open heart
- working with traumatised parts of our self and dissociation
- laying the foundation for ‘other-love’ and empathic compassion
What you can expect on a Mindsprings weekend course
- We aim to provide a safe, friendly and tolerant space to explore the benefits of body-based meditation
- There’s a good mix of teaching, experiential practice, and discussion. Talking helps make sure we’ve got it.
- Some practices are done lying down, some sitting up. Weather permitting, we may work outside too.
- Alistair’s training as a therapist is always available for one-on-one support when things arise during practice
- We start at 10am and finish at 5pm each day – with an hour’s break for lunch and some tea/pee breaks
- You’ll receive electronic notes and a recording of the teaching and guided meditation after the course.
- After the weekend, we will try and keep the group together online and with email updates
How to book and financial support
Mindsprings tries to offer good quality instruction at a reasonable cost. We offer a concessionary rate to anyone who is struggling financially, to students and to the unemployed. We never want to turn someone away because they can’t pay. However, the full-price tickets help subsidise these cheaper places, so we ask people to use their discernment when buying a concession.