Re: Can one love, without suffering?

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Posted by David S. ( on October 06, 2000 at 08:56:23:

In Reply to: Can one love, without suffering? posted by Kat on October 02, 2000 at 23:56:37:

Hi Kat,

That's a good question, and although the solutions may sound simple, they are indeed not easy.

There is nothing wrong with having attachment to people. Love is a great thing. And most of us need this type of interaction.. just look at how few are actually able to leave home as monks and nuns.

What is important is to keep patiently observing the attachments, and the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self nature of all things, as you are already doing. As we do this, we can keep the kind of love in our heart that says "make others happy." Even if we feel our attachment for a loved one decreasing (which is good), we do not behave less loving toward them. Maybe we find ourselves capable of more. And if we do not find our attachment decreasing, then we still love them, so it's no problem. We just try to be clear about our attachment. That is a good method.

I know this doesn't address your question with much precision, but maybe it's a case of "let it be, keep at the practice, always put the happiness of others first."

There is actually a story along these lines from the Tibetan tradition. There was agreat Buddhist teacher in Tibet (whose name I can't remember now) who was a lay practitioner. Monks came from all over the country to ask him questions and receive his teachings.

One day however, this teacher's son died unexpectedly while attending the farm and the teacher went out into the woods by himself. The monks and other practitioners who were there at the time went to look for him and found him sitting on a log crying. They asked him, "master, you always teach us of impermanence, of emptiness, that our attachments are based on illusions. Why do you cry now that your son has died?"

The master replied, "one's family is the biggest illusion of all."

Anyway, that story has always helped me remember I am not something I am not, but am just what I am right now. But the practice leads to increasing compassion and wisdom none-the-less. We have an eternity to do it, we just need to make sure we make the most of every moment along the way.


: OK, I'm stuck. The Four Noble Truths teach us about suffering, and that all things, both livng and not, are impermanent. I agree with this, and see how if you can accept this where it will you help you not suffer when they are gone. Yet how do you fall in love, Marry, and have children, knowing that they, too, will be gone, and that we are supposed to accept this when they do. I know that no matter how hard I tried, I will still suffer and mourn greatly the loss of any of these. In time will come acceptance, but at first the pain will be so great.....

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