Many of us believe love is a feeling of infatuation we get for someone we are attracted to, but what about the love we feel for our family and friends? Are all these feelings love?
Buddha taught that pure love is simply the wish to see others happy.
Unfortunately our love for others is almost always mixed with feelings of attachment, which is the wish for others to make us happy. It’s these self-centred wishes that create problems in our relationships, as a mind of pure love can only bring happiness.
We can start to develop an understanding of love andattachment by contemplating the following example:
• When a parent loves their children, they will naturally cherish them (feeling that their happiness and freedom from suffering is important) and so will encourage him or her to do well in life so that they can be happy.
• However, if a parent wishes their children to succeed so that they can impress other people, believing that their children are somehow a part of them, this indicates that the love for their children is mixed with attachment and is not a pure wish for their happiness.
It can be hard to distinguish between love and attachment, but it’s important that we do as this gives us the opportunity to enhance our love for others and eliminate disharmony from our relationships.
“Pure unconditional love never causes anypain or worry but only peace and joy.” – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
If you are interested in Buddhism or meditation, regardless of experience, you are welcome to attend a weekly drop-in class at Greerton Library (every Thursday at
Classes cost $15 per person, all proceeds go to spreading Buddhist teachings. Everyone is welcome!