Happy Valentine’s Day to all my wonderful, supportive readers out there in cyber world. I hope it is a day full of loving moments between you and your loved ones. I have decided not to write a post about ” what to buy your honey for Valentines, or where to wine and dine them for a romantic night.” I think you guys have all that covered already. I want to share with you some paragraphs from the book I have been reading the last week. True Love~ A Practice for Awakening the Heart, written by Thich Nhat Hanh.. … A Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.
According to Buddhism, there are four elements of true love.
The first is maitri, which can be translated as loving-kindness or benevolence. Loving-kindness is not only the desire to make someone happy, to bring joy to a beloved person: it is the ability to bring joy and happiness to the person you love, because even if your intention is to love this person, your love might make him or her suffer. Training is needed in order to love properly: and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practise deep looking directed toward the person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha.
The second element of true love is compassion, karuna. This is not only the desire to ease the pain of another person, but the ability to do so. You must practice deep looking, in order to gain understanding of the nature of the suffering of this person, in order to be able to help him or her to change. Knowledge and understanding are always at the root of the practice. The practice of understanding is the practice of meditation. To mediate is to look deeply into the heart of things.
The third element of true love is joy, mudita. If there is no joy in love, it is not true love. If you are suffering all the time, if you cry all the time, and if you make the person you love cry, this is not really love- it is even the opposite. if there is no joy in your love, you can be sure that it is not true love.
The fourth element is upeksha, equanimity or freedom. In true love, you attain freedom. When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love. If the opposite is true, it is not true love. You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside but also inside. ~ ~Thhich Nhat Hanh