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The wisdom, or brilliant sanity, of each energy is open, warm, clear and spontaneous. When the very same energy manifests neurotically it is frozen, blocked or constricted by a manipulating, self-serving and solidified sense of self. When we make friends with and become fully aware of the constricted quality of our neurosis we realize we are not connecting to the liberated aspect of the energy, but a distorted manifestation of it.
When we encounter an intensified emotion with these aspects of maitri, a transformative process occurs. We move from letting go to letting be. The pith instruction is to stay with the primary emotion we're feeling. Making friends with the essential nature of the emotion that binds us offers the possibility of liberating it. Both the storyline and the quality of the basic energy may differ, but the process remains the same. Each energy has an emotion associated with it that is transmuted into a particular wisdom.
When we use maitri as a tool, we find that we could either laugh or cry. At the point when we laugh or cry, the struggle is over. There is a sense of breakthrough. We have broken through our sense of constricted self. We have touched our heart. We have found the key to the wisdom within us, which displays itself as a colorful mandala of liberated qualities.
Irini Rockwell is the author of The Five Wisdom Energies: A Buddhist Way of Understanding Personalities, Emotions and Relationships (Shambhala, 2002). She leads workshops on the buddha families throughout North America and Europe.
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