Unrequited love

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Post Reply
User avatar
altar
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:24 pm
Location: Great Barrington, MA

Unrequited love

Post by altar » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:07 pm

Qualifies as metta?

More like contemplation of dukkha - this longing I feel is it a wholesome thing to dwell on? But I feel as long as I am not permanently fixated on this “wish” it is kind of a starting point for metta. Thoughts?

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4605
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Unrequited love

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:40 pm

altar wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:07 pm
Qualifies as metta?

More like contemplation of dukkha - this longing I feel is it a wholesome thing to dwell on? But I feel as long as I am not permanently fixated on this “wish” it is kind of a starting point for metta. Thoughts?
By "unrequited love", people usually mean some kind of romantic or sexual longing that isn't reciprocated. That's certainly not metta, as far as I understand it. It's an exceptionally painful feeling which can lead to some very bad places. As such, I don't think it is a wholesome thing to dwell on. It probably would be wholesome to analyse such feelings dispassionately, and see how one can extricate oneself from them. Consider how the feeling would rapidly dissipate if the love were reciprocated; and how (precisely because it is not reciprocated) it is largely based on a fantasy of how things could be, rather than how they are.

There is a starting point for metta here. It involves good-will for oneself, and the wish that one see such a situation clearly and in a way that lessens longing and other negative emotions. I don't know the particulars, but one possible drawback of metta cultivated for the object of unrequited romantic love is that such love may be a "near enemy", and tip over into increased desire and obsession.

User avatar
JamesTheGiant
Posts: 563
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:41 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Unrequited love

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:51 am

[... love may be a "near enemy", ...
This is a very important point @Altar, you really must google "Metta" and "Near Enemy".

dharmacorps
Posts: 627
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Unrequited love

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:13 pm

Indeed. The process you are describing is craving. Not getting what you want is dukkha. I don't see where metta enters the situation you have described.

truthseeker135
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:39 pm

Re: Unrequited love

Post by truthseeker135 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:58 pm

Metta is compared to motherly love in the Karaniya Meta Sutta "Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child, So with a boundless heart, Should one cherish all living beings;". Metta is not based on tanha, it is boundless compassion for all living beings, not lust for all living beings. A mother does not lust for her children. Unrequited love is based in lust. You want to be with someone because you are attracted to their physical features. It is based on avijja, ignorance of the tilakkhana, anicca- impermanence, dukkha-suffering derived from craving, and anatta-non self.
with Metta,
Robert

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests