Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

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MrLearner
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Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by MrLearner » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:48 pm

Hello everyone,

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
― Gautama Buddha

It is a great quote. Since I'm a beginner I'm bit confused with loving yourself and been selfish. Stupid thing to say but does following this advice mean you have to be selfish. A selfish person also loves him/her self right, so what is the difference between a selfish person loving him/her self and normal person loving him/her self.

Thinking more about this I feel selfish person is not a person who loves himself but rather a person who doesn't love others. If selfish people start to love themselves they wont be selfish. Am I right? I think I made a meal out of this quote :)

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bodom
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by bodom » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:19 pm

This is a distorted quote from the Buddha. Here is the original:
Searching all directions
with your awareness,
you find no one dearer
than yourself.
In the same way, others
are thickly dear to themselves.
So you shouldn't hurt others
if you love yourself.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

So as we can see from the above the purpose of the original statement by the Buddha is to emphasize having lovingkindness and compassion towards others, not only towards ourselves. When we see that we ourselves do not wish for pain or suffering we see that likewise no one else wishes for those things.

The following passages from the Dhammapada elaborate further:
129. All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.

130. All tremble at violence; life is dear to all. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.
So in essence it is more to do with being a selfless, kind and considerate person as opposed to a selfish one.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html

:namaste:
.
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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robertk
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by robertk » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:11 pm

you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
― Gautama Buddha

not a real quote from Buddha

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Kim OHara
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:10 am

Fake Buddha Quotes http://fakebuddhaquotes.com is a great site to visit whenever we come across a "quotation" which sounds a bit fishy.
This http://fakebuddhaquotes.com/you-yoursel ... affection/ is what the site had to say about the OP's quote, and it backs up Bodom's response. :thumbsup:

:namaste:
Kim

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L.N.
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by L.N. » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:36 am

MrLearner wrote:If selfish people start to love themselves they wont be selfish. Am I right?
Yes, I think you are right. Regardless of the authenticity of the quote (and I agree it is a fake quote), the underlying sutta is deeper and more nuanced than so far discussed, in my opinion. Taking Ajaan Geoff's translation to be authoritative, the Buddha realized the significance of what was said. Remember, King Pasenadi and Queen Mallikā were individuals of exceptional wisdom. That they would recognize this truth within themselves was not an expression of selfishness, in my reading. My reading is that they recognized that the manner in which we regard ourself is a precursor of how we regard and treat others. The sutta, as I read it, is a reminder to intentionally love oneself. This is good kamma, good for oneself and others. Fake quote, but still a great quote. I acknowledge others may have different, valid readings of the sutta.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Mkoll
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:51 am

This post brings this sutta to mind.
AN 4.95 wrote:“Monks, these four types of individuals are to be found existing in the world. Which four? The one who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others. The one who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own. The one who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others. The one who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others.

“Just as a firebrand from a funeral pyre—burning at both ends, covered with excrement in the middle—is used as fuel neither in a village nor in the wilderness: I tell you that this is a simile for the individual who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others. The individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own is the higher & more refined of these two. The individual who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others is the highest & most refined of these three. The individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is, of these four, the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme. Just as from a cow comes milk; from milk, curds; from curds, butter; from butter, ghee; from ghee, the skimmings of ghee; and of these, the skimmings of ghee are reckoned the foremost—in the same way, of these four, the individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme.
In my own practice, trying to emulate that superior practitioner has been a real turning point. For example, if I speak gently and kindly to people, trying to follow the 5 courses of wholesome speech, I don't give rise to unwholesome states in myself and I give as little reason as I possibly can to give rise to unwholesome states in them. It is a win-win. Of course I fail much of the time, but I get up and try again. This is my kamma.

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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cjmacie
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by cjmacie » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:07 am

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:19 am
"Searching all directions
with your awareness,
you find no one dearer
than yourself.
In the same way, others
are thickly dear to themselves.
So you shouldn't hurt others
if you love yourself.
" (UD.5.01)

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, in a discussion somewhere, adds a dimension of interpretation to this passage that helps make it more compelling (paraphrasing from memory):
Since all beings cling to their own happiness, trying to hurt them will evoke fierce resistance; chances are you won't succeed; so trying to do that just wastes one's own energy, increases one's own suffering.
Like that sutta passage (again, paraphrasing): "When one picks-up a piece of burning charcoal to throw at someone, who gets burned first?"
So, the brahmavihara-s can be seen also as a matter of skillfulness, of pragmatism – starting at home with one's own self-interest and then using that to understand and respect the self-interest of all other beings -- in case the emotionally effusive take on them doesn't work for one.

To echo and extend what Mkoll (Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:51 am) offered, it's "win-win" situation, or put another way, the brahmavihara-s in practice tend to be contagious. Several other aspect of the Buddha's dhamma have this quality – for instance gratitude, which has two aspects: 1) acknowledging that one has received some benefit from another (katannyuta); and 2) returning it in kind, or spreading it around to others (katavedi). (from a book I found on-line "Gratitude in the Buddha's Teachings" by Ven. Nyanandassana Thero)

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Kim OHara
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:25 pm

FB version ...
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:tongue:
Kim

Dhammika12345
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by Dhammika12345 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:01 am

Here is Bhante Gunaratana's take on the actual sutta quote by the Buddha and his interpretation (from "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness," Wisdom Publications 2001), p. 76:

+ + +
Some of you may wonder why you have to practice compassion toward yourself. "Caring for myself is selfish," you may say. "My needs are not important. True spiritual practice is compassion for others." This sounds nice, but you may be fooling yourself. When you investigate your mind carefully, you will discover that there is no one in the whole universe that you care for more than yourself.

There's nothing wrong with this. In fact, compassion for ourselves is the basis for our practice of compassion toward others. As the Buddha said: "Investigating the whole world with my mind, never did I find anyone dearer than myself. Since oneself is dearer than others, one who loves oneself should never harm others." (Udana V.1)

It is a mistake to think that it is more refined or "spiritual" to think harshly about yourself or to view yourself as unworthy. The Buddha found through his own experience that self-mortification does not lead to enlightenment. Of course, we do need to cultivate self-restraint, but we do out of a determination to act in our own best interests. Seen rightly, kind and gentle self-discipline is actually an aspect of practicing compassion for ourselves.

Moreover, it is impossible to practice genuine compassion for others without the foundation of self-compassion. If we try to act compassionately out of a sense of personal unworthiness or the belief that others are more important than we, the true source of our actions is aversion for ourselves, not compassion for others. Similarly, if we offer help out of a sense of cold superiority to those we are assisting, our actions may be motivated by pride. Genuine compassion, as we have seen, arises from the tender heart we feel for our own suffering, which we then see mirrored in the suffering of others. Self-compassion, grounded in wholesome self-love, motivates us to reach out sincely to help.
May all beings be happy and secure.
May all beings have happy minds.

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cjmacie
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by cjmacie » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:17 pm

Kim OHara wrote:Fake Buddha Quotes http://fakebuddhaquotes.com is a great site to visit whenever we come across a "quotation" which sounds a bit fishy.
This http://fakebuddhaquotes.com/you-yoursel ... affection/ is what the site had to say about the OP's quote, and it backs up Bodom's response. :thumbsup:
Bodhipaksa has several versions of that article. Initially, I saw one in Fall 2013 issue of Tricycle magazine, and looked, unsuccessfully, to find that article this last February. Corresponding with Bodhipaksa, I got the text from that original article, which contained a translation of the passage (from Udana 5:1) by Mahasi Sayadaw (Bodhipaksa omitted the individual Pali translations; I got this whole version from the book (see below)):

‘‘Sabbā disā anuparigamma cetasā, Nevajjhagā piyataramattanā kvaci;
Evaṃ piyo puthu attā paresaṃ, Tasmā na hiṃse paramattakāmo
’’

"Sabbā disā: in all directions, cetasā: with thoughts, anupari-gamma: pervading, piyataramattanā: a person who deserves more love and affection than oneself, kvaci: in any place, nevajjhagā: cannot be found. Evaṃ: Similarly, paresaṃ: other people too, puthu attā: their own self, piyo: are dear, tasmā : therefore, (in as much as every being loves himself the most), attakāmo: one who loves himself, and who cares most for his own welfare, param: another person, na hiṃse: will not cause harm, or should practise loving-kindness without causing misery to others."

As he often does, Mahasi elaborates, restating in different terms. It's from a book of 7 talks, titled Brahmavihara Dhamma, (given ca. 1980, translated in 1983).

Clearly Mahasi's sense is close to Than-Geof's translation of Udana 5:1.

Bodhipaksa's article traces down the original quotation (that given in the OP here):
"With a little digging around I found that Sharon Salzberg used our suspect quote in her 1995 Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, and even earlier in a magazine called Woman of Power …, published in 1989."
Here's the whole passage he as he quotes it:
"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."

And here's a letter-to-the-editor I submitted to Tricycle (which wasn't published; next issue they published instead two rather dumb letters attacking an article by Thanissaro – that's when I cancelled my subscription to Tricycle):

editorial@tricycle.com
Re: What the Buddha Never Said / "You Deserve Your Love and Affection" by Bodhipaksa
Tricycle Fall 2013 p.82-83

Thanks to Bodhipaksa for his efforts and perspective concerning accuracy in quoting Dhamma. (The topic calls to mind a question I often ponder: why it is that the topic of delusion, of ignorance is not that often seriously addressed in Dhamma-circles?)

To add a bit more perspective, we might recall that the Buddha actually didn't say anything at all in the English language. He may not have spoken strictly Pali, but certainly some closely related dialect; and Pali -- that whole family of languages -- has decidely different manners of expression, syntax, and word-formation conventions, than does English.

In examining the various English renditions of the Udana passage that Bodhipaksa focuses on, striking is the similarity but crucial difference between the Sharan Salzberg and Thanissaro Bhikkhu versions, and likewise the dissimilarity of English form but agreement of sense between the latter and the Mahasi Sayadaw version. Digging a bit further, one finds that the Pali version consists of 18 words, but the English versions use, respectively (in order of mention above), 46, 34, and 71 words to render the Pali. The fact that English translation takes from 2 to 4 times as many words as the Pali, and radically different syntax, hints at the degree of choice and transformation in play to shoehorn the Pali into English language conventions.

In considering, then, what we can actually know about what the Buddha did or did not say, we might be mindful that we are sifting through
1) a maze of varying translations from the Pali Canon (or the Chinese, Tibetan, etc.);
2) filtering interpretations on the part of the translators as well as commentators (both traditional and modern);
3) and further filtering interpretions on the part of each of us as listeners or readers, with our individually conditioned associations triggered by the English words and concepts.

So many variables, factors that can cloud the quest for accurate understanding.

Considering a broader question 'How can one really know what the Buddha said?,' we find ourselves continuing a dialog deeply embedded in tradition -- as, for instance, in the Abhidhamma's central thematic investigation of how one really 'knows' anything at all; and, in particular, knows 'reality'. This is to suggest that the issues of linguistic translation are by no means incidental, but are, in fact, inherently related to the issues of coming to understand and practice the Dhamma as preserved in the Pali Canon.

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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by binocular » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:19 pm

cjmacie wrote: Bodhipaksa's article traces down the original quotation (that given in the OP here):
"With a little digging around I found that Sharon Salzberg used our suspect quote in her 1995 Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, and even earlier in a magazine called Woman of Power …, published in 1989."
Here's the whole passage he as he quotes it:
"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
If you google this passage, there is plenty of hits for it; that shows how it spread.

I find this is especially suspicious: "You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere."

This sentence seems like a countermeasure to the self-hatred that Westerners sometimes feel.

Someone commented on it thus:
The 'modern version' is pure narcissism, whilst the old one is a subtle warning against it which nevertheless recognises the importance of loving yourself. I doubt whether more self love is quite the right answer to the West's ills

https://www.uk420.com/boards/index.php?showtopic=331017
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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cjmacie
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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by cjmacie » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:12 pm

binocular wrote:Someone commented on it thus:
The 'modern version' is pure narcissism, whilst the old one is a subtle warning against it which nevertheless recognises the importance of loving yourself. I doubt whether more self love is quite the right answer to the West's ills

https://www.uk420.com/boards/index.php?showtopic=331017
Thanks for pointing out that copy of Bodhipaska's article – it looks like the original one published in Tricycle. (The one currently on his website is shorter, doesn't have the Mahasi translation.)

Out of curiosity, to compare the Pali with those three translations (by Thanissaro, Mahasi, and the one Sharon Salzberg used), I exercized my rudimentary Pali knowlege to attempt a word-for-word translation of the Pali (likely with errors):
‘Sabbā disā anuparigamma cetasā,
All directions going/gone about with mind,
Nevajjhagā piyataramattanā kvaci;
Not find (one) more dearly measured/esteemed/held (than oneself) anywhere;
Evaṃ piyo puthu attā paresaṃ,
Thus dear (is) individual self (of/to) others,
Tasmā na hiṃse paramattakāmo’’[/i]
Therefore (do) no harm another('s) self-enjoyment/pleasure.

It easy to see how radically different Pali syntax is from English, and that translation into "readable" English is forced to add a lot and switch things around.

One thing I find is how the Salzberg and Mahasi translations (perhaps due to the English of the person who translated the Burmese) use the terms "love" and "affection", where the Pali (as in Thanssaro's and my versions) uses terms closer to "dear" and "self-enjoyment/pleasure".
binocular wrote: This sentence seems like a countermeasure to the self-hatred that Westerners sometimes feel.
I agree with that. A lot of modern Western Buddhist interpretation is heavily bound-up with psychology – issues like self-hatred, self-esteem. A large proportion of "dharma teachers" are psychologists (especially the Spirit-Rock crowd).

This is arguably foreign to the Asian viewpoint. An anecdote we've probably all heard is about some Asian teacher (Dalai Lama, or maybe Thich Naht Hahn?) expressing surprise at the Western problem with self-hatred. And there's the report that American psychologists went over to Dharmshala, where the Tibetan Buddhists have their capital-in-exile, to help the Tibetans who were "traumatized", PTSD from Chinese torture. It's said those "victims" didn't know what the psychologists were talking about, didn't experience such symptoms.

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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by binocular » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:53 pm

cjmacie wrote:I agree with that. A lot of modern Western Buddhist interpretation is heavily bound-up with psychology – issues like self-hatred, self-esteem. A large proportion of "dharma teachers" are psychologists (especially the Spirit-Rock crowd).
Absolutely.
This is arguably foreign to the Asian viewpoint. An anecdote we've probably all heard is about some Asian teacher (Dalai Lama, or maybe Thich Naht Hahn?) expressing surprise at the Western problem with self-hatred. And there's the report that American psychologists went over to Dharmshala, where the Tibetan Buddhists have their capital-in-exile, to help the Tibetans who were "traumatized", PTSD from Chinese torture. It's said those "victims" didn't know what the psychologists were talking about, didn't experience such symptoms.
Some references:
The Dalai Lama once said the thing he found most surprising about Westerners was their self-hatred. In Tibet, he said, only the village idiots feel self-hatred. Of course, he said that smiling, but it's a pretty harsh judgment.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .html#mood
Then there’s the problem of self-hatred. The Dalai Lama isn’t the only Asian Buddhist teacher surprised at the amount of self-hatred found in the West. Unfortunately, a lot of people with toxic super-egos have embraced the teaching on egolessness as the Buddha’s stamp of approval on the hatred they feel toward themselves.

These problems have inspired many Western psychologists to assume a major gap in the Buddha’s teachings: that in promoting egolessness, the Buddha overlooked the importance of healthy ego functioning in finding true happiness. This assumption has led to a corollary: that Buddhism needs the insights of Western psychotherapy to fill the gap; that to be truly effective, a healthy spiritual path needs to give equal weight to both traditions. Otherwise you come out lopsided and warped, an idiot savant who can thrive in the seclusion of a threeyear, three-month, three-day retreat, but can’t handle three hours caught in heavy traffic with three whining children.

This corollary assumes, though, that for the past twenty-six hundred years Buddhism hasn’t produced any healthy functioning individuals: that the collective consciousness of Asian society has suppressed individualism, and that the handful of dysfunctional meditation teachers coming to the West—the ones who mastered the subtleties of formal meditation but tripped over the blatant pitfalls of American money and sex—are typical of the Buddhist tradition. But I wonder if this is so.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... rtbook.pdf
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by Will » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:21 pm

First try to understand what 'you' are, what is the 'self'.
Or as 'Arahant' Socrates put it, 'Know thyself' :smile:
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Re: Question about "loving yourself" buddhist quote?

Post by cjmacie » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:44 am

re:postby binocular » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:53 am

Psychologists: My, perhaps half-baked, theory is that psychologists might feel that Buddha Dhamma presents an existential threat to their profession, so they've got to "own" it, adapt it to fit their needs. Thanissaro goes touches on that (in Buddhist Romanticism). Also Alexander Piatigorsky (in The Buddhist Philosophy of Thought) proposes that Dhamma, if one must shoe-horn it into Western concepts, is properly "meta-psychology" (and "meta-philosophy"), i.e. goes into the very roots of any such systematic mental fabrications.
binocular wrote:
Some references:
Many thanks for providing that documentation, and rescuing my s/w sketchy memory. The second quotation reminds me of an article where Thanissaro put together some of those idea once for Tricycle magazine (or maybe it was Inquiring Mind).

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