Buddha & Love: Timeless Wisdom for Modern Relationships, Lama Ole Nydahl, Jaico Books, Pp 320, Rs 295.00
THE author, a disciple of the 16th-century Gyalwa Karmapa and a Western Buddhist Lama, explains different aspects of love and partnership from a Buddhist perspective.
Fundamentally the desire for happiness is the driving force behind all we do. Even the smallest being tries to attain happiness and avoid suffering. In the all-encompassing state of highest joy, one is so overwhelmed with meaning and bliss that habits and limits become meaningless. One’s face radiates joy, the body is charged with joyful power and one wants to hug the whole world. To experience this perfect, exhilarating state as often as possible is unceasing motivation in one’s life.
When people fall deeply in love, they experience moments of immense happiness. They cannot get their beloved out of their mind and an all-pervading bliss in the beginning of a new relationship appears from the profound wish for love. Though one is aware of its swinging and erratic nature and should not be surprised at its ups and downs, it is always painful when personal difficulties surface and the reassured source of bliss disappears. Some couples believe in holidaying, others in following a special diet or any other source of pleasure in order to find the alleged happiness, forgetting that they are burning down their well-earned money on finding happiness from impermanent causes. When these circumstances are not present, the conditioned state disappears. Like the Greek philosopher Heraclites said, some 2,500 years ago, “Everything flows. Nothing stands still.”
People forget that love often does not last. Even if one is in a partnership, meaning and results do not come without nurturing. The pink clouds of love only shine as long as partners are given enough attention. But, after the old shower of realisation that one cannot attain permanent happiness for outer causes that Buddha’s advice proves of help.
The types and levels of the goals that promise happiness are very important. If one has already everything in life, the latter begins to lose its allure. It is better to utilise one’s energy for achieving beyond personal goals. For achieving lasting happiness – as one, with a partner, as a family or in a group – one’s life experiences are an important foundation. It allows for effective use of strength, love and joy; it facilitates a high opinion of the partner and one’s surroundings; and it encourages the exploration of one dimensions of life. This ensures that love stays fresh for a long time and let’s any narrowness of mind or habits to subside. Personal limits will then either resolve themselves or turn into challenges that one willingly embraces.
With this attitude, every experience for the coup
le or family turns into a step on the shared path tolasting meaning and happiness. How can one develop this love that is full of appreciation for the other? This book offers several answers for this. Even separations are painful experiences, like the death of a loved one but this is better processed if one follows the Buddha’s way of trying to see the potential in beings and the good in every situation because Buddha’s view will get us closer to the truth than a different mindset would. Unconditional love lies at the root of lasting happiness.
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