The True Meaning Of Love, According To Buddhism
What does it mean to fall in love, or be in love, or even stay in love? In fact, what is love?
In Buddhism, seeking to something outside of ourselves is seen as wasteful. This is because, from a Buddhist perspective, it is believed that everything we need is within. Seeking fulfillment in another is an attachment which will ultimately end in suffering. When we link ourselves to another, we become dependent on that person for the fulfillment or satisfaction of our love ‘fantasy’.
But true love does not require a vehicle for its fulfillment or expression. Love is not demanding.
So how do Buddhists view this contradiction?
By looking within the first of Buddha’s noble truths: “life is dukkha.”
Dukkha is divided into three states:
3. Conditioned states
SEE ALSO: Buddha’s 6 Rules Of Love
We experience romantic love within the context of these three aspects of creation:
- Suffering- Ordinary suffering, as defined by the English word, is one form of dukkha. This includes physical, emotional and mental pain. But a deeper read defines it as that which can never be entirely filled until it (the creation, or us) is no longer separate from the formlessness of Divine consciousness. This separation is loneliness. This is the suffering part of dukkha – the separation from God.
- Change- Anything that is not permanent, that is subject to change, is dukkha. Thus, happiness is dukkha, because it is not permanent. Great success, which fades with the passing of time, is dukkha. This doesn’t mean that happiness, success are bad, or that it’s wrong to enjoy them. If you feel happy, then enjoy feeling happy. Just don’t cling to it.
- Conditioned states- Everything affects everything else. This is the most difficult part of the teachings on dukkha to understand, but it is critical to understanding Buddhism. It’s like how the spider weaves its web, creating a living matrix of awareness.
To be identified with something outside of yourself is to invite suffering, right? Suffering is derived from perceiving a loss. Yet, at its core, suffering is an illusion.
But authentic love is whole, complete, and in essence, beyond suffering. When something dies or goes away, you don’t lose it…because you never owned it. We suffer most when we are attached to this illusion. True love does not leave a wound when it is lost because true love can never be lost.
Once created, love exists forever within the Divine sphere. The divine conversation of love is something beyond a mere notion or discussion; it is ALIVE, filled with the budding possibility of a butterfly about to open its wings for the first time.
Love is the Reuniting of Self
That which is searched for exists already within.
As lovers, what are we looking for?
We already have it.
Today, don’t wish it was another day. Wish it was today. Then you will realize yourself already blessed. This is true of love as well: don’t wish for something that already is within. For, in the final analysis, one cannot fall in love with that which is outside of the self – one’s true nature is already love. Once we realize this, even more love gravitates to us much more easily.
So falling in love is really just coming back home. What a fun paradox!
So the takeaway is: keep falling in love!
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