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#84575 - 04/16/05 11:39 PM Zen and Love

Hi guys,
Harlans comment regarding Grace in another thread caught my attention. Buddhism talks about compassion, What is zens perspective on Love?

#84576 - 04/17/05 12:04 AM Re: Zen and Love

It is my belief that most zen teachers would think that our perception of love is as flawed as the rest of our thinking. its a slippery slope indeed. love thru selfless compassion is something we might agree is attained (there is that word again) thru enlightenment. but "love" on a personal level is another pit fall full of duality and ego driven desire. true love would have no opposite it would never decline into jealosy, neediness, fear, anger infanitum. yet this is the course we seem to take. monastic zen take a vow of celebacy (or used to) but that is not a solution for the lay practitioner. if you can love in this moment without expectation (or fear) of what will happen in the next, then to love in mindfull awareness would be a joyfull thing indeed. But if you practice this in your everyday life...then even washing the dishes without an agenda can be joyfull [IMG][/IMG] theres something to sit zazen with. after all life is the greatest koan of all


#84577 - 04/17/05 10:08 AM Re: Zen and Love

I think first we need to at least try to define the word love.

I believe the ancient Greeks can help us with this:

Eros - romantic/sexual
Phileo - friends / companionship
Agape - unconditional/spiritual

I haven't really given much thought to the first two types of love, but I think agape love encompasses some of the basic tenets of Buddhist teaching.

The Four Noble Abodes or The Four Sublime States of Buddhism are: loving kindness, compassion, appreciative/sympathetic joy, and equanimity.

Do these ideas not embody the very essence of agape or unconditional love? To practice Zen thinking in real life (as opposed to abstract discourse only) one needs to have an unconditional love of other beings, nature, and one's self. It is difficult to actually verbalize the role of love in Zen, but it seems that love on some level is imperative on the path to enlightenment.

And finally from a martial arts teacher's point of view:
People are illogical, unreasonable, ungrateful, and self-centered. Love them any way.


#84578 - 04/18/05 09:54 AM Re: Zen and Love

Slow thread.

My understanding on Buddhism, Zen is limited...but I don't think I will step on anyone's toes if I state that I think...

When you love, just love. Whatever you love and however you love. Whether it is agape, sexual, etc. Be fully with it. I have a daoist/tantric outlook...mind, body and spirit all at the same time. To deny the human/body experience is to not be completely in the now. Accept.

The flip side of great profound grief. The dark night of the soul. Enduring, and getting through this helps one understand the natural attachments we have to this existance/body. In a sense, all emotions are the same. To deny them is to enter Hell.

[This message has been edited by harlan (edited 04-18-2005).]

#84579 - 04/18/05 02:29 PM Re: Zen and Love

My formal/book knowledge of Zen is minimal. I do have a few experiences which have informally shown me a link between Love and the Zen perspective. The link has consistanly been humor.

#84580 - 04/18/05 02:38 PM Re: Zen and Love

How ironic. In my experience most humor finds it's origin in suffering.

#84581 - 04/18/05 03:41 PM Re: Zen and Love

goes to show how versatile humor is!


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