The Maitrī Collection
foraged earth pigments, hand-made oil paints
& a vow to find peace in the process
A new collection of oil paintings made with
Available on February 6 at 2 PM EST
What is Maitrī?
Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön, describes the Sanskrit word Maitrī as "unconditional friendship with oneself".
Seven years ago, I attended my first two-week meditation retreat at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado. The theme of the retreat was Maitrī, and the intention was to cultivate an attitude of kindness and benevolence towards ourselves.
As a brand new meditation student, I had very little experience sitting still and being present with the contents of my mind. In my personal silent bubble, the retreat was agonizing. The intensity of the practice brought to the surface unbearable anxiety, as well as fear and anger. Admittedly, I was just so uncomfortable being with myself. I wanted to be anywhere but with my own thoughts and feelings. I was not a friend to myself.
Maitrī is about having as attitude of loving-kindness towards life, towards the anxiety, the fear and the anger and all of the other challenging things about ourselves. It's about looking at our experience, and at everything that happens in our lives, with eyes of warmth and compassion, much in the way we might look at a sleeping infant or a puppy sitting at my feet.
Gentleness, benevolence, unconditional friendliness...
Maitrī is how I am embracing and turning towards all of the loss that I have experienced in my life. It is how I am opening my heart more instead of closing it off. The paintings in this collection were created from that gentleness and they invoke it in the viewer. It is a deeply personal yet delightfully universal transmission of all that is wonderful about opening the heart.