We have many different types of relationships: with our partners,
our children, our co-workers, our neighbors, even the checker at
the grocery story. All of us wish for harmony, but often we experience
only difficulty and frustration. According to Buddhist philosophy,
problems arise in our relationships when they are based on attachment
instead of love. A recent advertisement said, Love hurts.
Love doesnt hurt, actually it is attachment that hurts. Attachment
is a delusion that regards its object as a cause of happiness and
then wishes to possess it. Observe how attachment functions when
we fall in love. Meeting someone we are interested in,
we wish to posses them and idealize their good qualities. Imagining
this perfectly endowed being, we eventually no longer relate to
the actual person. After a while we start seeing their faults and
blaming them, Our relationship fell apart because you changed.
You used to be so perfect, what happened? Our attachment for
the person caused us to relate to someone who never existed.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso teaches Love is a virtuous mind that
creates only peace and happiness, while attachment is never virtuous
and causes pain and problems. A mind of love wishes for others
to be happy. A mind of attachment thinks, How can others can
make me happy? Improving our love for others improves our
relationships. When relating to others, instead of thinking, What
can this person do for me? we begin to think, What can
I do for this person? This is the beginning of cherishing
love. Gradually we begin to replace the attachment in our relationships
with love. A mind of cherishing love is peaceful and controlled.
With a mind of love, we develop sincere concern for others and work
for their happiness.
Kadam Sonja Hanson is a Resident Teacher of Mahasiddha Buddhist
Center. Classes on Love, Desire and Attachment from
the book,Understanding the Mind by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso,
will be taught by Gen Kelsang Jangsem, Principal Teacher of Mahasiddha
Buddhist Center. See calendar
listing or contact Mahasiddha Center at (503) 233-6747 or www.mahasiddha.net.