Romantic Love

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Aloka
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Romantic Love

Post by Aloka » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:01 am

Ven Thich Nhat Hanh answers the question "Why doesn't Buddhism support romantic love" (approx 8 minutes)





Any comments ? :anjali:


.

dhammarelax
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by dhammarelax » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:28 am

Aloka wrote:Ven Thich Nhat Hanh answers the question "Why doesn't Buddhism support romantic love" (approx 8 minutes)





Any comments ? :anjali:


.
He is not Theravada so I am not sure if its worth the discussion, anyhow:

Aloka do you find his teaching to be in accord with MN 21 The simile of the saw?

"If anyone gives those bhikkunis a blow with his hand, with a clod, with a stick.....you should train thus "My mind will be unaffected".

If you read Thanissaros Bhikus essays you will find the explanation of how Buddhism is sometimes corrupted by romantic notions like inclusiveness.

In a nutshell I dont think he is teaching Buddhism.

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Dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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Ben
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by Ben » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:48 am

Thank you Aloka for posting this.
Dhammawheel will always be inclusive and if anyone has a problem with this then I suggest they leave.
With metta
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but great rivers flow silently.
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Aloka
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by Aloka » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:22 pm

Ben wrote:Thank you Aloka for posting this.
Dhammawheel will always be inclusive and if anyone has a problem with this then I suggest they leave.
With metta
Ben
Thank you Ben. As this is the Open Dhamma forum, I thought it would be interesting for members to discuss what Ven Thich Nhat Hanh (A highly respected teacher in the Buddhist world) has to say about loving relationships between lay couples.


:anjali:

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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by clw_uk » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:05 pm

It's a nice brief talk. I wouldn't agree that romantic love is happiness, since it's dukkha.
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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:28 pm

clw_uk wrote:It's a nice brief talk. I wouldn't agree that romantic love is happiness, since it's dukkha.
I think this statement needs to be carefully qualified.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by clw_uk » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:34 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:It's a nice brief talk. I wouldn't agree that romantic love is happiness, since it's dukkha.
I think this statement needs to be carefully qualified.

What I meant was that romantic love can be a source of worldly happiness, and it can be noble and wholesome, however the feelings and the object of the sexual desire are inherently dukkha. By that I mean in the sense of causing mental "pain" through their change (death, falling out of love with you etc).

I guess the question is, can you romantically love someone and not be attached?
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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:01 pm

clw_uk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:It's a nice brief talk. I wouldn't agree that romantic love is happiness, since it's dukkha.
I think this statement needs to be carefully qualified.

What I meant was that romantic love can be a source of worldly happiness, and it can be noble and wholesome, however the feelings and the object of the sexual desire are inherently dukkha. By that I mean in the sense of causing mental "pain" through their change (death, falling out of love with you etc).

I guess the question is, can you romantically love someone and not be attached?
Interestingly, you really are not addressing what the Venerable had to say.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by clw_uk » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:09 pm

tilltbillings -
Interestingly, you really are not addressing what the Venerable had to say.

I thought I touched upon it:

"What I meant was that romantic love can be a source of worldly happiness"


Which the venerable discussed in terms of the 4 brahma viharas, unless I missed something?
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ihrjordan
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by ihrjordan » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:14 pm

clw_uk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:It's a nice brief talk. I wouldn't agree that romantic love is happiness, since it's dukkha.
I think this statement needs to be carefully qualified.

What I meant was that romantic love can be a source of worldly happiness, and it can be noble and wholesome, however the feelings and the object of the sexual desire are inherently dukkha. By that I mean in the sense of causing mental "pain" through their change (death, falling out of love with you etc).

I guess the question is, can you romantically love someone and not be attached?
Those that are engaged in such relationships will argue till death that it is possible to not be attached, whereas the Buddhas original teachings say otherwise...and It's important to realize that 99.99% of romantic relationships do have the things listed in his talk which would disqualify such relationships from being true love according to his teaching. This was clearly a showing of skillful means so as to not offend those that were enshrouded by ignorance. This goes over most peoples heads and instead all they hear is "Romantic relationships can be true love?" "Nice, I guess I'll just keep doing what I've been doing and hopefully new results come"...they never do.

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daverupa
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by daverupa » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:17 pm

clw_uk wrote:...romantic love can be a source of worldly happiness... however the feelings and the object of the sexual desire are inherently dukkha.
It seems that most people think romantic love is sexual; that a romantic love could not exist between two celibate people. Is this true? Is "romantic" love code for "sexually active" love?

Because if I ask, "Can there be a wholesome sexuality?" I have to answer, Yes. "An unwholesome sexuality?" Yes, as well.

"But is there a liberative sexuality?" I must say, No. There is no such thing in the Buddhadhamma.

---

So: what about romantic love? Well, it depends: AN 10.75 applies directly to the matter at hand (on that link, find "5. Migasālāsuttaṃ"; I read Bodhi's translation, however).
  • "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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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:21 pm

clw_uk wrote:tilltbillings -
Interestingly, you really are not addressing what the Venerable had to say.

I thought I touched upon it:

"What I meant was that romantic love can be a source of worldly happiness"


Which the venerable discussed in terms of the 4 brahma viharas, unless I missed something?
That is pretty much it; however, "romantic love" in the terms the Venerable discussed is a bit more than just a source of worldly happiness.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Alex123
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by Alex123 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:27 pm

I believe that since nature wants us to reproduce, romantic love is just a way of talking to cover (maybe even from oneself) the real instincts.
"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

Post by clw_uk » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:30 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:tilltbillings -
Interestingly, you really are not addressing what the Venerable had to say.

I thought I touched upon it:

"What I meant was that romantic love can be a source of worldly happiness"


Which the venerable discussed in terms of the 4 brahma viharas, unless I missed something?
That is pretty much it; however, "romantic love" in the terms the Venerable discussed is a bit more than just a source of worldly happiness.
Could you expand, as I get the feeling I'm being exceedingly dense :reading:
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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:31 pm

Alex123 wrote:I believe that since nature wants us to reproduce, romantic love is just a way of talking to cover (maybe even from oneself) the real instincts.
Possibly, but as the Venerable makes quite clear, romantic love can be far more that that, which certainly been so for me in the last 20+ years I have been with my one and only dear true.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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