Emotional Love

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Emotional Love

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri May 08, 2009 7:00 pm

I was studying dharma talks by Ven. Hsuan Hua today and came across the following passage:

"Cultivators shouldn't have thoughts of emotional love, even less should they engage in acts of emotional love. Don't give rise to thoughts of emotional love for anyone, no matter who it is."

Well, now, I can understand the general principle here -- emotional attachments blind us for sure. But, speaking as a married person with two small kids, I'm not sure what to make of the Venerable's advice. Children need emotional love from their parents. Lack of parental affection can result in psychological problems on the part of children. Partners need emotional love from each other. When we speak of a "loveless marriage", it isn't usually a way of saying the marriage is working.

I see how Venerable's words are relevant to those who have left home life, but what about those of us who have not? Is the dharma not really for us?

Advice? Interpretations?
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Re: Emotional Love

Postby Drolma » Fri May 08, 2009 7:38 pm

Venerable is very wise.


Emotional 'love' exaggerates. There is a lot of attachment involved in emotional 'love'. In Buddhism it is the attachment we work to give up, not our love, not our happiness. When there is less exaggeration / less attachment and fewer unrealistic expectations of our loved ones, there will be actually closer, sweeter, kinder, more considerate and far more balanced, much more loving and affectionate relationships.
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Re: Emotional Love

Postby Eternal Spirit » Sat May 09, 2009 12:27 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Children need emotional love from their parents. Lack of parental affection can result in psychological problems on the part of children.

Dear Lazy Eye

Yes. Definitely. The Eternal Spirit has infinite love, patience and empathy for children. This is because the Eternal Spirit has the innocence , purity and boundless potential of a child.

Partners need emotional love from each other.

Generally. However, if cultivating the path to the Eternal Spirit or simply maturing as a human being, ideally one's need is reducing and one's ability to give & sustain is increasing.

When we speak of a "loveless marriage", it isn't usually a way of saying the marriage is working.

If love is increasing in its dependency or neediness, then a marriage is not working. Marriage under the Eternal Spirit is two human beings helping eachother to end suffering (rather than increasing the causes of suffering).

I see how Venerable's words are relevant to those who have left home life, but what about those of us who have not? Is the dharma not really for us?

This specific dharma may not be for you. However, the Eternal Spirit spoke through the Lord Buddha in many ways. The Lord Buddha gave many teachings specifically for householders, such as the Maha-mangala Sutta, the Samajivina Sutta and the Sigalovada Sutta.

Most of all, the Lord Buddha believed in deities. The Lord Buddha said "parents are the Bodhisatvas of children".
Living with Brahma are those families where, within the home, mother and father are respected by their children. Living with the early deities are those families where, within the home, mother and father are respected by their children. Living with the early teachers are those families where, within the home, mother and father are respected by their children. Living with those worthy of adoration are those families where, within the home, mother and father are respected by their children.

'Brahma,' bhikkhus, is a term for mother and father. 'Early devas' and 'early teachers' and 'those worthy of veneration' are terms for mother and father. For what reason? Because mother and father are very helpful to their children, they take care of them and bring them up and teach them about the world."


The Eternal Spirit is boundless and has dharma for all beings. Anjali!

:anjali:
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Re: Emotional Love

Postby Luke » Sat May 09, 2009 3:24 pm

Yeah, to an English speaker, giving up "emotional love" sounds pretty harsh. Maybe it's just a bad translation. I think what he probably means is that people should replace immature and selfish types of love with mature, spiritual love which is unconditional and boundless (at least this is the way Buddhists usually talk).
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Re: Emotional Love

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat May 09, 2009 5:46 pm

If love is increasing in its dependency or neediness, then a marriage is not working.


:anjali:
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Re: Emotional Love

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat May 09, 2009 5:48 pm

Luke wrote:Yeah, to an English speaker, giving up "emotional love" sounds pretty harsh. Maybe it's just a bad translation. I think what he probably means is that people should replace immature and selfish types of love with mature, spiritual love which is unconditional and boundless (at least this is the way Buddhists usually talk).


Hi Luke,

The first thing that popped into my mind when I read this was that selfish love is given with expectations, and a deeper love is given freely. Immaturity breeds selfish love, I think. Spiritual progress hopefully helps us cultivate the latter.

:namaste:
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Re: Emotional Love

Postby thornbush » Sun May 10, 2009 3:45 am

My take on this...
Developing and practising the Bodhicitta and a Bodhisattva's heart transcends and reaches out to all:
monastic, laity, family, parents, children, friends, enemies, strangers and all other sentient beings...and even crosses them to the Other Shore...
Any other kind merely perpetuates Samsara and remains bound to the burning worlds of birth, death and rebirth...

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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