Maitri (poem + clip)

Maitri is a Sanskrit term meaning “unconditional acceptance of yourself.” It is something pivotal to human relationships. My favorite Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön has written several amazing books and occasionally speaks.  Above is a very short clip…only 5 minutes, but a powerful punch about where the origin of our loves needs to be before we try to engage with the world and others in it. I coach my yoga students on this all the time.

And of course, my poem in response…


You cannot love another
unless you first love yourself

You cannot feel compassion for someone
unless you first feel compassion for yourself

For giving away what you don’t have
leaves you broken and torn

It leaves you resentful of others
who cannot reciprocate

You won’t need them to…
if you love yourself first

The hole you want to fill
won’t keep them still

Take your love and turn inside
fill it from bottom to top

When it thus spills out…
when it overflows,

Then take your love

and shout it out.


~ Emily Clapper




8 thoughts on “Maitri (poem + clip)

  1. Lovely poem and loved the clip too! Not to struggle against pain in life and that is something of paramount importance! Also to love ourselves is quite a difficult task, but one we must certainly accomplish to achieve peace I suppose. Wonderful post Em! Thanks for sharing 👍😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would replace the word “need” with “reason”, but even then I think the lesson, if any, because sometimes it isn’t anything we intentionally brought upon ourselves….is separate from the reason. Sometimes, it’s just because people can be assholes. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, reason. And, with assholes, it’s best to remember the cause of the pain is the affront to the principles we hold dear, even if they’re rooted in emotion.


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