Posted by Gerald (18.104.22.168) on March 25, 2000 at 14:21:59:
In Reply to: To love or have an empty heart? posted by Lisa on March 20, 2000 at 13:05:01:
Since you are confused about what he means, you must ask him to explain. If this was a casual comment or a statement he made in the course of discussing Buddhist practice but one that worried you, remember that words and concepts can be misused and misunderstood in Buddhism as in any other religion or philosophy. If he is striving for faithful Buddhist practice, he should understand compassion, not in it's dictionary meaning as pity, but as the awareness of the effect of words and actions on others. No one but he can tell you what he means when he says he wants his heart to be empty. I suspect that since he says he loves you and wants to spend his life with you, whatever he means by "empty heart", it does not mean empty of love in the way you understand it. Do Buddhists choose life partners by some mysterious criteria? No. If our practice is true, we pick them out of appreciation of them, for themselves, rather than selecting someone who we feel we need in order to feel some self-worth. In other words, we don't depend on a partner to make us feel complete, and we don't pick a partner because we feel they will be bound to us out of a false need the partner may harbor. We are secure in our selves as part of a whole that is invulnerable to perceived harm. You certainly know folks who say they are Christians who obviously do not practice Christianity, and there are certainly "Buddhists" who do not practice Buddhism well. It may help you to mentally step outside the arena of religion and think about relationships in terms of the partners honoring the relationship by true appreciation without being needy. That's rather what we are about, anyway. If he can honor your relationship properly, you need only appreciate him without false expectation that he will "fullfil" you, and regardless of his Buddhist practice, you will both be using the relationship well. For in truth, the heart must be empty of need if there is to be a place for love.
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