Romantic Love

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Coyote
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Coyote » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:59 am

Ben, Tilt,

It has been mentioned on this and other threads that married life provides unique opportunities of spiritual growth that might be difficult for a single person to obtain. Could you give some examples?

Alex123 wrote:Hello Ben, all,

like Craig I am a bit perplexed by the (hopefully only) apparent inconsistency.

On one hand we have LOTS of suttas (of which I provided only few random ones) that talk about the necessity of sense restraint and all,
and on the other hand there are those householder suttas.


I think any inconsistency goes away when one realises that sense restraint is the cause, or else the result, of attaining the two last paths and fruits - anagami and arahatta. Stream-entry is more about attaining right view which can be done as a householder or bhikkhu.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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robertk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby robertk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:27 pm

Yes coyote gets it!
Its like in the texts about the rich man with the 4 young wives. Not until he became an anagami did he lose interest in them ( and told them they were free to go with any young man who had caught their eye).

For bhikkhus they are striving to give up even the most subtle sense desire. Very different life from those of laypeople who are equipped with the 5 strands of sense desire.

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Aloka
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Aloka » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:55 pm

This is an excerpt from an interview with Bhante Henepola Gunaratana:


Even laypeople have to live a disciplined life; they have to exercise a certain restraint. And that's why for laypeople there are the precepts to observe; but ordinary laypeople are not supposed to observe celibacy.

Laypeople can attain certain stages of enlightenment-what we call "stream-enterer" and "once-returner"- before they have realized for themselves that there are inherent difficulties and problems involved in sexual activities.

And laypeople can attain even the third stage of sainthood, which is called the "never-returner" stage.

But soon after they attain that stage they themselves will decide from their own experience, from their own understanding, that involvement in sexuality is going to block the progress of their spiritual practice, and when they realize this they will voluntarily give up sexual activities.

So you see, celibacy is not something that can be imposed upon us by force or command.

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha097.htm



:anjali:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Sam Vara » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:22 pm

:goodpost:
Good find, excellent post, Aloka.

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daverupa
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby daverupa » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:39 pm

...I must again recommend AN 10.75, just in case people haven't read it yet. (Find "5. Miga" at that link - but good lord, I should maybe type it out from Bodhi's version...anyone know if that'd be problematic?)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Dhammanando
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:20 pm

daverupa wrote:but good lord, I should maybe type it out from Bodhi's version...


Let me save you a few minutes...

    Migasālā *

    On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, in the morning, the Venerable Ānanda dressed, took his bowl and robe, and went to the house of the female lay follower Migasālā, where he sat down on the seat prepared for him. Then the female lay disciple Migasālā approached the Venerable Ānanda, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said:

    “Bhante Ānanda, just how should this teaching of the Blessed One be understood, where one who is celibate and one who is not celibate both have exactly the same destination in their future life? My father Purāṇa was celibate, living apart, abstaining from sexual intercourse, the common person’s practice. When he died, the Blessed One declared: ‘He attained to the state of a once-returner and has been reborn in the Tusita group [of devas].’ My paternal uncle Isidatta ** was not celibate but lived a contented married life. When he died, the Blessed One also declared: ‘He attained to the state of a once-returner and has been reborn in the Tusita group [of devas].’ Bhante Ānanda, just how should this teaching of the Blessed One be understood, where one who is celibate and one who is not celibate both have exactly the same destination in their future life?”

    “It was just in this way, sister, that the Blessed One declared it.”

    Then, when the Venerable Ānanda had received almsfood at Migasālā’s house, he rose from his seat and departed. After his meal, on returning from his alms round, he went to the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said: “Here, Bhante, in the morning, I dressed, took my bowl and robe, and went to the house of the female lay follower Migasālā…. [all as above, down to] … When she asked me this, I replied: ‘It was just in this way, sister, that the Blessed One declared it.’”

    [The Blessed One said:] “Who, indeed, is the female lay follower Migasālā, a foolish, incompetent woman with a woman’s intellect? And who are those [who have] the knowledge of other persons as superior and inferior? ***

    “There are, Ānanda, these ten types of persons found existing in the world. What ten?

    (1) “Here, Ānanda, there is one person who is immoral and does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that immorality of his ceases without remainder.**** And he has not listened [to the teachings], become learned [in them], penetrated [them] by view, and he does not attain temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for deterioration, not for distinction; he is one going to deterioration, not to distinction.

    (2) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is immoral yet understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that immorality of his ceases without remainder. And he has listened [to the teachings], become learned [in them], penetrated [them] by view, and he attains temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for distinction, not for deterioration; he is one going to distinction, not to deterioration.

    “Ānanda, those who are judgmental will pass such judgment on them: ‘This one has the same qualities as the other. Why should one be inferior and the other superior?’ That [judgment] of theirs will indeed lead to their harm and suffering for a long time.

    “Between them, Ānanda, the person who is immoral, and who understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that immorality of his ceases without remainder; who has listened [to the teachings], become learned [in them], penetrated [them] by view, and who attains temporary liberation, surpasses and excels the other person. For what reason? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can know this difference except the Tathāgata?

    “Therefore, Ānanda, do not be judgmental regarding people. Do not pass judgment on people. Those who pass judgment on people harm themselves. I alone, or one like me, may pass judgment on people.

    (3) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is virtuous yet does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that virtuous behavior of his ceases without remainder. And he has not listened [to the teachings] … he does not attain temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for deterioration, not for distinction; he is one going to deterioration, not to distinction.

    (4) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is virtuous and understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that virtuous behavior of his ceases without remainder. And he has listened [to the teachings] … and he attains temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for distinction, not for deterioration; he is one going to distinction, not to deterioration.

    “Ānanda, those who are judgmental will pass such judgment on them … I alone, or one like me, may pass judgment on people.

    (5) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is strongly prone to lust and does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that lust of his ceases without remainder. And he has not listened [to the teachings] … he does not attain temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for deterioration, not for distinction; he is one going to deterioration, not to distinction.

    (6) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is strongly prone to lust yet understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that lust of his ceases without remainder. And he has listened [to the teachings] … and he attains temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for distinction, not for deterioration; he is one going to distinction, not to deterioration.

    “Ānanda, those who are judgmental will pass such judgment on them…. I alone, or one like me, may pass judgment on people.

    (7) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is prone to anger and does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that anger of his ceases without remainder. And he has not listened [to the teachings] … he does not attain temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for deterioration, not for distinction; he is one going to deterioration, not to distinction.

    (8) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is prone to anger yet understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that anger of his ceases without remainder. And he has listened [to the teachings] … he attains temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for distinction, not for deterioration; he is one going to distinction, not to deterioration.

    “Ānanda, those who are judgmental will pass such judgment on them…. I alone, or one like me, may pass judgment on people.

    (9) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is restless and does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that restlessness of his ceases without remainder. And he has not listened [to the teachings] … he does not attain temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for deterioration, not for distinction; he is one going to deterioration, not to distinction.

    (10) “Then, Ānanda, there is one person who is restless yet understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that restlessness of his ceases without remainder. And he has listened [to the teachings], become learned [in them], penetrated [them] by view, and he attains temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for distinction, not for deterioration; he is one going to distinction, not to deterioration.

    “Ānanda, those who are judgmental will pass such judgment on them: ‘This one has the same qualities as the other. Why should one be inferior and the other superior?’ That [judgment] of theirs will indeed lead to their harm and suffering for a long time.

    “Between them, Ānanda, the person who is restless, and who understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, where that restlessness of his ceases without remainder; who has listened [to the teachings], become learned [in them], penetrated [them] by view, and who attains temporary liberation, surpasses and excels the other person. For what reason? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can know this difference except the Tathāgata?

    “Therefore, Ānanda, do not be judgmental regarding people. Do not pass judgment on people. Those who pass judgment on people harm themselves. I alone, or one like me, may pass judgment on people.

    “Who, indeed, is the female lay follower Migasālā, a foolish, incompetent woman with a woman’s intellect? And who are those [who have] the knowledge of other persons as superior and inferior?

    “These are the ten types of persons found existing in the world.

    “Ānanda, if Isidatta had possessed the same kind of virtuous behavior that Purāṇa had, Purāṇa could not have even known his destination. And if Purāṇa had possessed the same kind of wisdom that Isidatta had, Isidatta could not have even known his destination. In this way, Ānanda, these two persons were each deficient in one respect.”

    NOTES

    * A part-parallel of 6:44, with similar setting but different contents.

    ** Ce pettā pi yo; Be pitāmaho, Ee pettā piyo. PED explains pitāmahā (under pitar) as “grandfather,” which seems unlikely here. PED, under pettāpiya (epic Skt pitṛvya), gives “father’s brother, paternal uncle,” which can thus support Ce and Ee if the spaces are eliminated. See too pp. 1758–59, note 1330.

    *** I take Ce –ñāṇo here to be a misprint for –ñāṇe, which occurs in the repetition of the statement toward the end of the sutta. In 6:44, Ce has –ñāṇe in both places.

    **** Dussīlyaṃ aparisesaṃ nirujjhati. Mp: “Here, the five kinds of immorality are abandoned by the path of stream-entry; the ten [courses of unwholesome kamma], by the path of arahantship. At the moment of fruition they are said to have been abandoned. By nirujjhati the text here refers to the moment of fruition. A worldling breaks virtuous behavior in five ways: by committing a pārājika offense, by giving up the training, by joining another sect, by reaching arahantship, and by death. The first three lead to the decline of development, the fourth to its growth, and the fifth neither to decline nor growth. But how is virtuous behavior broken by reaching arahantship? Because a worldling can have extremely wholesome virtuous behavior, but the path of arahantship leads to the destruction of wholesome and unwholesome kamma; thus it is broken in that way.” This, it should be pointed out, is explained from the Abhidhamma standpoint, according to which an arahant’s actions, being mere activities (kiriya) without kammic result, are not classified as either wholesome or unwholesome. In the language of the suttas, however, they would be described as extremely wholesome.

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daverupa
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby daverupa » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:48 pm

Brilliant.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Alex123
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:54 pm

Dear Bhante Dhammanando,

I have few questions:


1) Not criticism. Why was Buddha's reply so harsh? Migaālā didn't say anything really bad, just an honest question.

    [The Blessed One said:] “Who, indeed, is the female lay follower Migasālā, a foolish, incompetent woman with a woman’s intellect? And who are those [who have] the knowledge of other persons as superior and inferior? ***

2) Was once-returning attainment of Isidatta during the lifetime or close/at the moment of death?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:31 pm

Some thoughts from Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda


11. Celibacy

What is Celibacy?
Celibacy is refraining from the pleasure of sexual activity. Some critics of Buddhism say that The Teaching goes against Nature and they claim that sex life is natural and therefore necessary.

Buddhism is not against sex, it is a natural sensual pleasure and very much a part of the worldly life. One may ask, why then did the Buddha advocate celibacy as a precept? Is it not unfair and against Nature? Well, the observance of celibacy for spiritual development was not a new religious precept at the time of the Buddha. All the other existing religions in India at that time also had introduced this practice. Even today, some other religionists, like the Hindus and Catholics do observe this as a vow.

Buddhists who have renounced the worldly life voluntarily observe this precept because they are fully aware of the commitments and disturbances which come along if one commits oneself to the life of a family person. The married life can affect or curtail spiritual development when craving for sex and attachment occupies the mind and temptation eclipses the peace and purity of the mind.

Significance of Celibacy
People tend to ask, "If the Buddha did not preach against married life, why then did He advocate celibacy as one of the important precepts to be observed and why did He advise people to avoid sex and renounce the worldly life?"

One must remember that renunciation is not compulsory in Buddhism. It is not obligatory to renounce the worldly life totally in order to practice Buddhism. You can adjust your way of life according to your understanding by practicing certain religious principles and qualities. You can develop your religious principles according to the needs of a lay life. However, when you have progressed and attained greater wisdom and realize that the layman's way of life is not conducive for the ultimate development of spiritual values and purification of the mind, you may choose to renounce the worldly life and concentrate more on spiritual development.

The Buddha recommended celibacy because sex and marriage are not conducive to ultimate peace and purity of the mind, and renunciation is necessary if one wishes to gain spiritual development and perfection at the highest level. But this renunciation should come naturally, and must never be forced. Renunciation should come through a complete understanding of the illusory nature of the self, of the unsatisfactory nature of all sense pleasures.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .html#ch12
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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Alex123
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:17 pm

Hello Craig,

Good quote.


Here is addition question for others.
1) Is sex kusala or akusala (lobha)?

If it is akusala, then does akusala help or hinder the path?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:12 pm

clw_uk wrote:Some thoughts from Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda


. . . The Buddha recommended celibacy because sex and marriage are not conducive to ultimate peace and purity of the mind, and renunciation is necessary if one wishes to gain spiritual development and perfection at the highest level. But this renunciation should come naturally, and must never be forced. Renunciation should come through a complete understanding of the illusory nature of the self, of the unsatisfactory nature of all sense pleasures.
Indeed.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:04 am

Alex123 wrote:1) Not criticism. Why was Buddha's reply so harsh? Migasālā didn't say anything really bad, just an honest question.


Yes, but the Buddha was addressing Ānanda, not Migasālā. I don't know why he spoke as he did, though I would hazard a guess that it may have been an attempt to chide Ānanda and cure him of his inordinately high regard for women — a trait that doesn't sit too well in a male ascetic and not infrequently landed Ānanda in hot water.

Alex123 wrote:2) Was once-returning attainment of Isidatta during the lifetime or close/at the moment of death?


The Suttas don't say.

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Anagarika
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Anagarika » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:26 am

Alex123 wrote:1) Why was Buddha's reply so harsh? Migaālā didn't say anything really bad, just an honest question.

    [The Blessed One said:] “Who, indeed, is the female lay follower Migasālā, a foolish, incompetent woman with a woman’s intellect? And who are those [who have] the knowledge of other persons as superior and inferior? ***


Here's the Sutta Central translation, perhaps slightly less direct: " Ānanda, who is this foolish silly female lay disciple Migasala. With unripe wisdom what does she know about the range of the mental faculties of Great beings? " I note the difference between "unripe wisdom" and the pejorative "woman's intellect."

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Dhammanando
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:00 am

Anagarika wrote:Here's the Sutta Central translation, perhaps slightly less direct: " Ānanda, who is this foolish silly female lay disciple Migasala. With unripe wisdom what does she know about the range of the mental faculties of Great beings? " I note the difference between "unripe wisdom" and the pejorative "woman's intellect."


The translation is by Sister Uppalavaṇṇā, who is extremely clumsy and careless. It might be less direct, but it's not a faithful translation of any of the passage's three variant readings.

Burmese: bālā abyattā ammakā ammakapaññā: foolish incompetent little nanny with a little nanny's intellect.

Sinhalese: bālā abyattā ambakā ambakapaññā: foolish incompetent mango-girl with a mango-girl's intellect.

Thai: bālā abyattā andhakā andhakapaññā: foolish incompetent blind woman with a blind woman's intellect.

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Anagarika
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Anagarika » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:54 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Anagarika wrote:Here's the Sutta Central translation, perhaps slightly less direct: " Ānanda, who is this foolish silly female lay disciple Migasala. With unripe wisdom what does she know about the range of the mental faculties of Great beings? " I note the difference between "unripe wisdom" and the pejorative "woman's intellect."


The translation is by Sister Uppalavaṇṇā, who is extremely clumsy and careless. It might be less direct, but it's not a faithful translation of any of the passage's three variant readings.


Yes, and thank you, Bhante. Perhaps her translation was less sloppy, and more intentional, in order to water down the gender specific characterization.

Still, I wonder if these kinds of descriptions such as "woman's intellect" are more a product of later BCE or CE additions, vs. a characterization of women by the Buddha, in this fashion. No way of knowing for sure, it seems, but as I accept the authenticity of these early Suttas as generally the stuff of Buddhavacana, I also tend to weed out the stuff that strikes me as more a product of post-Buddha cultural accretions or characterizations.

Mango-girl? I like mangos. :)

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Dhammanando
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:14 am

Anagarika wrote:Perhaps her translation was less sloppy, and more intentional, in order to water down the gender specific characterization.


I think you're being too kind, for this would imply that Uppalavaṇṇā is at least a thoughtful translator. In fact her translations consistently bear the stamp of works executed in extreme haste and with no thought at all. As I once noted in a past thread she translates Pali Suttas as badly as Constance Garnett translates Russian novels.

Anagarika wrote:Still, I wonder if these kinds of descriptions such as "woman's intellect" are more a product of later BCE or CE additions, vs. a characterization of women by the Buddha, in this fashion.


Counting against such a possibility is the fact that the parallel sūtra in the Chinese Saṃyukta Āgama characterizes Migasālā in virtually identical terms.

However, to anyone suspecting an interpolation by a misogynistic scribe I would note that the Pali word used for "woman" in the phrase "woman's intellect" is not one of the common words for a woman, but a rather rare and unflattering one. That being so, the passage cannot reasonably be construed as implying that weakness of intellect is characteristic of women in general.

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ECS
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby ECS » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:48 pm

Perhaps as one awaken to Buddhism , love is same as hate , same as fear / anger / desire / worry / greed / ego etc .......so regardless how romantic is the love still is same as anger ... as all is emotion ... and emotion is what human is .........and as long as there is still emotion , we will exist .

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby rolling_boulder » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:29 pm

Dhammanando wrote:...and he does not attain temporary liberation. With the breakup of the body, after death, he heads for deterioration, not for distinction; he is one going to deterioration, not to distinction.


Hello Bhante,

What is the meaning of "temporary liberation" here? I don't think I have seen this term before.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

santa100
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby santa100 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:52 pm

Ven. Bodhi's note from "Numerical Discourses" says:
[explaining "temporary liberation":]Samayikampi vimuttim na labhati. Mp says that he does not occasionally gain rapture and joy derived from listening to the Dhamma. patis II 40,16–17, however, defines the near-synonym samayavimokkho as the four jhanas and four formless attainments (cattari ca jhanani, catasso ca arupasamapattiyo, ayam samayavimokkho, which it distinguishes from permanent emancipation, identified with the four noble paths, the four fruits of the spiritual life, and nibbana (cattaro ca ariyamagga, cattari ca samaññaphalani, nibbanañca, ayam asamayavimokkho).

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby shaunc » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:55 am

I've been married for 15 years and have 4 kids varying in age from 23 to 7. Every person that you come across in this world is capable of causing you suffering.
It's up to you to decide which ones are worth suffering for.
My 2 oldest boys mother left me with the kids when they were 3 and 1. I learned all about suffering and then 7 years later met my wife that has helped me bring up the 2 oldest boys and we then went on to have 2 more of our own.
Be very careful about who you choose to live your life with. In my opinion this one decision will be the cause of 90% of your happiness or misery.


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