The agony + ecstasy of love

9 November 2010 - 11:32pm Comments Off

Love is wishing for the people that love you never to be harmed. And you would take the harm for them.

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche

There are countless definitions of love. The most common are those that are emotionally motivated. This kind of love is usually accompanied by desirous attachment. Since attachment is a delusion, an afflictive emotion, this kind of love is deceptive. It may bring short-term happiness but in the long term, we will experience suffering and disappointment.

To give and receive love is one of the greatest joys of being human. Animals and other beings do not have such a capacity to enjoy such happiness.

However, in seeking this ecstasy we often experience agony. The pain comes when the love stops. The pain is often the feeling of disappointment which arises from demand, expectation or misunderstanding. We reflexively withhold or limit our love for fear of pain. This is the mind of frustration we are carrying. How do we get rid of such misery? When self-loving stops, when the intimacy is coming from our heart and mind, and not from a physical basis.

When love is not selfish, when it is free from self-grasping ignorance, there will be no pain. Pure love is always thinking of others to such an extent that we will do things for the benefit of others.

We can improve the quality of our love by freeing ourselves from strong expectations and developing interest in others.

There are two types of love:

(Type A) Strong and short lived – mixed with strong desire and attachment energy, which undermines love. In this type of love, we experience push-and-pull which disturbs our inner peace and limits what our heart can give. When problems arise, this kind of love degenerates quickly.

(Type B) Strong and deep – love with space to grow, that is able to accommodate all kinds of experience. Adversities help this beautiful loving energy to grow.

We should transform love from Type A to Type B. We can do this by continuously loving whether others are happy with us or not. Eventually we will be able to love to protect and to benefit others – just like a Buddha’s love for us.

Just like our Guru’s love for us.

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