LOVE Lesson 6
"St. John 15:17 ‘Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.' St. John's verse implies a sacrifice of one's life, but what is the sacrifice?
The definition of Love as described by the Dalai Lama, serves well to expand our understanding of the greater love spoken of by John and given to us by Jesus!
From His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 'The little book of Buddhism'
"'Compassion and love are not mere luxuries. As the source both of inner and external peace, they are fundamental to the continued survival of our species.'
The four immeasurables, also known as the Brahma Viharas (Skt.) are found in one brief and beautiful prayer:
May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.
The Buddha taught the following to his son Rahula (from "Old path white clouds" by Thich Nhat Hahn):
"Rahula, practice loving kindness to overcome anger. Loving kindness has the capacity to bring happiness to others without demanding anything in return.
Practice compassion to overcome cruelty. Compassion has the capacity to remove the suffering of others without expecting anything in return.
Practice sympathetic joy to overcome hatred. Sympathetic joy arises when one rejoices over the happiness of others and wishes others well-being and success.
Practice non-attachment to overcome prejudice. Non-attachment is the way of looking at all things openly and equally. This is because that is. Myself and others are not separate. Do not reject one thing only to chase after another.
I call these the four immeasurables.
Practice them and you will become a refreshing source of vitality and happiness for others."

The definition of love in Buddhism is: wanting others to be happy.
This love is unconditional and it requires a lot of courage and acceptance (including self-acceptance).
The "near enemy" of love, or a quality which appears similar, but is more an opposite is: conditional love (selfish love... ).
The opposite is wanting others to be unhappy: anger, hatred.
A result which one needs to avoid is: attachment.
This definition means that 'love' in Buddhism refers to something quite different from the ordinary term of love which is usually about attachment, more or less successful relationships and sex; all of which are rarely without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to de-tachment and the unselfish interest in others' welfare.
'Even offering three hundred bowls of food three times a day does not match the spiritual merit gained in one moment of love.'
Nagarjuna said,
"If there is love, there is hope that one may have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue."


The definition is: wanting others to be free from suffering.
This compassion happens when one feels sorry with someone, and one feels an urge to help.
The near enemy is pity, which keeps other at a distance, and does not urge one to help.
The opposite is wanting others to suffer, or cruelty.
A result which one needs to avoid is sentimentality.
Compassion thus refers to an unselfish, de-tached emotion which gives one a sense of urgency in wanting to help others.
From a Buddhist perspective, helping others to reduce their physical or mental suffering is very good, but the ultimate goal is to extinguish all suffering by stopping the process of rebirth and the suffering that automatically comes with living (enlightenment).
The attitude of a so-called Bodhisattva is Bodhicitta: this is the ultimate compassionate motivation: the wish to liberate all sentient beings from the sufferings of cyclic existence and to become a fully enlightened Buddha oneself in order to act as the perfect guide for them."
When we consider the importance of love and we consider that we are all loved by God, then we can see that...
"In loving one another, we love the Creator, for the Creator is present in each and every one of us."
We are all a parts of God. We are God and because we are all God, when we love one another we are loving both God, and vicariously ourselves. When we love, unwittingly, and if you ever notice love also fills our being. And yet, "Love necessitates giving and sharing without hope of reward...,"
This kind of love, love without thought of reward is a kind of sacrifice for we give selflessly with no hope of receiving anything in return."---The Dalai Lama
"Through the Heart we may come to know the Love of God; through the Heart we may become the Love of God." jessika

Next Lesson on Love

Power of Love
The Law of Love
The Teaching of Love
Love the Universe
Dalai Lama Love
Charity & Love
Gandhi & Love
The Golden Rule
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His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama
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