Author Topic: How To Expand Love  (Read 5381 times)

icy

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How To Expand Love
« on: September 30, 2012, 05:37:46 AM »
Many types of valid consciousnesses derive from basic, natural, and obvious perception. All of us have an innate "I," although if we try to locate this "I," we get into a lot of difficulties. This sense of "I" gives us a well-founded aspiration to happiness and a wish not to suffer.

There are different levels of happiness and different kinds of suffering. Material things usually correspond to physical happiness, whereas spiritual development corresponds to mental happiness. Since our "I" has these two aspects--physical and mental--we need an inseparable combination of material progress and internal, or spiritual, progress. Balancing these is crucial to utilizing material progress and inner development for the good of human society.

Big schemes for world development arise from this wish to gain happiness and relieve suffering. But there are higher levels of happiness beyond these worldly forms, in which one seeks something longer-term, not just confined to this lifetime. Just as we need a long-range perspective that protects the environment, we need an internal long-range perspective that extends to future lifetimes.

RedLantern

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 12:56:28 PM »
One way to expand love is to channel love and compassion to friends,family,strangers and people who sometimes annoy us and sometimes get us upset.There are many people in pain,attacking others,they do not know how to recognize the love and goodness they have within.When we make positive inner shift ,where inner peace dwells,we will feel inner peace.
His holiness the Dalai Lama presents a series of seven steps to expand love.
1)creating a positive attitude towards others.
2)recognizing the kindness of each of us has received.
3)reciprocating the kindness of others
4)Learning to love others(including learning the difference between disinterested love and love based upon attachment such as physical or sensual desire or upon the receipt of benefits from those close to us)
Practicing compassion.The desire to have others free from suffering.
becoming committed to altruism-to training one's mind and working for the welfare of others.
realizing enlightenment in terms of being devoted to the welfare of others.

buddhalovely

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2012, 02:42:39 PM »
Only human beings can judge and reason; we understand consequences and think in the long term. It is also true that human beings can develop infinite love, whereas to the best of our knowledge animals can have only limited forms of affection and love. However, when humans become angry, all of this potential is lost. No enemy armed with mere weapons can undo these qualities, but anger can. It is the destroyer.

- Dalai Lama

diamond girl

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2012, 02:43:16 PM »
Love...personally to me it is over rated... Plus it is a good topic to blame when things go awful. It is also apparently the reason for total complete bliss. Well, I can never put a perfect recipe on love and making it always a walk in the park with cherry blossom trees. I can only preach to myself that if I am to be happy, the choice is mine and the actions I take are my own responsibility.

I read this article after I read this thread, perhaps it may shed some light on making Love grow/expand... happy reading.

http://www.soulprogress.com/html/ArticlesFolder/Articles/HowToCreateDeeperLove.shtml
How to Create Deeper Love

 

DSFriend

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2012, 03:11:22 PM »
What is love? If we were to put a group of people in a room and hear them out, we would most probably get a different version from each person. It reminds me of the story of a few blind men, each touching a part of an elephant, each one getting a different feel of the elephant thus having a different reality of what an elephant "looks" like. Which one is closest to the truth? They all are close to the truth from their own experience... but only able to get the complete truth if all were to collectively share what their experience with each other. Another way is just listen to the one who is not blind but sees clearly.

In our case, Buddha would be the one to rely on.

It's hard to describe something we do not have completely but perhaps instead, describe it based on what we can connect with. We can connect with harm, rudeness, insincerity, anger, jealousy, unforgiveness and bitterness and all other forms of darkness. Perhaps, a way of trying to expand love is to consciously interact with each other with the absence of the above dark elements...then what is left for others to experience from us must be our true nature, the Buddha nature, the loving nature.

Carpenter

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 05:15:52 PM »
Love is an action, it is caring and compassionate, love is not a feeling or emotion. Love is an action, when my friends need my help and I am busy but I drop what I am doing to help my friends that is love. When I see my friends hurting and I comfort them, that is love. It is not love to say I love you, poor you, etc. But it is when you take action on it, it’s now, it’s I have to go now to help, and that’s the unconditional love.

It is not easy to love others especially when it comes to have conflicts to our interests, and our mind is the main culprit, when rationally we know we have to care and love but subconsciously we rejected to love others, because of our own selfishness. Yes, it can generate the quality to love others, but it does not come naturally, we need to practice on it, fake it, and force ourselves to love and to care for others, when time passes, the love that we so call forced, it will naturally become natural, we will slowly develop the love to others and it will become that it is so impossible to just think of ourselves and not others. Because real happiness is through love others than loving ourselves.

pgdharma

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 11:34:45 AM »

“Love and compassion are beneficial both for you and for others.

Through your kindness toward others, your mind and heart will open to peace.

Expanding peace to the larger community around you will bring unity, harmony, and cooperation.

Expanding peace further still to nations and then to the world will bring mutual trust, mutual respect, sincere communication, and finally successful joint efforts to solve the world's problems.

All this is possible once you learn” – The Dalai Lama


In our quest for true happiness and fulfillment during the course of our lives, nothing is more essential than giving and receiving love. We have to create and maintain a positive attitude toward those around us. By reflecting on the kindness that close friends have shown us we learn to reciprocate and help other people achieve their own long-term goals. And in seeking the well-being of others, we foster compassion, the all-encompassing face of love.

The Dalai Lama has often described his religion as a simple one: "No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart, is the temple; and your philosophy is kindness." The first challenge on this path is to restructure our relationships in a more even-minded way rather than categorizing people as a friend, an enemy, or a neutral person. For the first we have positive feelings; for the second, negative ones; and for the third, feelings of indifference. Yet given the changes in our lives and the impermanence of all things, there is no certainty that "a friend, an enemy, or a neutral person will at all times either help, harm or do neither."

Once in a while, an enemy becomes a friend. The Dalai Lama has demonstrated this mind-set by stating that even though the Chinese have persecuted his people, he sees them in his heart as being no different. He goes a step beyond that by thinking of them as teachers who give him an opportunity to practice patience, love, and compassion. The enemy becomes the greatest teacher of altruism!

Tenzin K

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 01:54:26 PM »
All religions teach a message of love, compassion, sincerity, and honesty. Each system seeks its own way to improve life for us all. Yet if we put too much emphasis on our own philosophy, religion, or theory, becoming too attached to it, and try to impose it on other people, the result will be trouble. Basically all the great teachers, including Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and Moses, were motivated by a desire to help their fellow beings. They did not seek to gain anything for themselves, nor to create more trouble in the world.

Religion may have become synonymous with deep philosophical issues, but it is love and compassion that lie at the heart of religion. Therefore, in this book I will describe the practice of love that I also do. In experience the practice of love brings peace of mind to myself and helps others. Foolish selfish people are always thinking of themselves, and the result is always negative. Wise persons think of others, helping them as much as they can, and the result is happiness. Love and compassion are beneficial both for you and for others. Through your kindness toward others, your mind and heart will open to peace.

Expanding this inner environment to the larger community around you will bring unity, harmony, and cooperation; expanding peace further still to nations and then to the world will bring mutual trust, mutual respect, sincere communication, and finally successful joint efforts to solve the world's problems. All this is possible. But first we must change ourselves.

Each one of us is responsible for all of humankind. We need to think of each other as true brothers and sisters, and to be concerned with each other's welfare. We must seek to lessen the suffering of others. Rather than working solely to acquire wealth, we need to do something meaningful, something seriously directed toward the welfare of humanity as a whole.

icy

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2012, 10:52:47 AM »
Actually, we Buddhists are supposed to save all sentient beings, but practically speaking, this may be too broad a notion for most people. In any case, we must at least think in terms of helping all human beings. This is very important. Even if we cannot think in terms of sentient beings inhabiting different worlds, we should nonetheless think in terms of the human beings on our own planet. To do this is to take a practical approach to the problem. It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help another, the least we can do is to desist from harming them. We must not cheat others or lie to them. We must be honest human beings, sincere human beings.

On a very practical level, such attitudes are things which we need. Whether one is a believer, a religious person, or not, is another matter. Simply as an inhabitant of the world, as a member of the human family, we need this kind of attitude. It is through such an attitude that real and lasting world peace and harmony can be achieved. Through harmony, friendship, and respecting one another, we can solve many problems in the right way, without difficulties and we are on the way to expanding love.

icy

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 09:58:32 AM »
There is a Buddhist practice in which one imagines giving joy and the source of all joy to other people, thereby removing all their suffering. Though of course we cannot change their situation, I do feel that in some cases, through a genuine sense of caring and compassion, through our sharing in their plight, our attitude can help alleviate their suffering, if only mentally. However, the main point of this practice is to increase our inner strength and courage.

Even to those with no spiritual belief, when reading these lines, you can reflect upon the fact that, fundamentally, all beings are equal to you in their wish for happiness and their desire to overcome suffering. Recognizing this, you make a pledge to develop a good heart. It is most important that we have a warm heart. As long as we are part of human society, it is very important to be a kind, warm-hearted person.

biggyboy

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2012, 02:09:40 PM »
According to Buddhism, to love is an action. It's that force that motivates people to become better, to improve themselves in order to reach eternity and happiness. Love brings out the best in people, as when they love, the target is not themselves but the beloved ones. This wish to serve others is said to be a reflection of an innate knowledge that everybody is connected through the same principle, and therefore, it is an illusion to believe that one can achieve true happiness while those around haven't attained it . So, love is the action that makes people step out of their own ego and work in favour of the whole in a search for fulfillment.

When a person truly loves another, nothing can be expected in return, because the motivation is the spiritual growth of the beloved ones, not reciprocity. If a person loves another only if the other person loves him or her too, or only if the other person is faithful, then, this conditional love hides an unconscious assumption that it is necessary to be loved in order to love, and, according to Buddhist philosophy, this is a mistake as love ought to be an end in itself.

True love is free from emotional attachment. The greatest lesson of Buddhism is that detachment does not mean that loving is meaningless. Rather, detachment is the state of mind that allows people to love even more, abundantly, and for the right reasons – because every single living being is a small part of the same universal body and not loving the neighbour would be the same as not loving oneself.

http://www.dalailama.com/messages/compassion

Even when we engage in ordinary conversation in everyday life, if someone speaks with human feeling we enjoy listening, and respond accordingly; the whole conversation becomes interesting, however unimportant the topic may be. On the other hand, if a person speaks coldly or harshly, we feel uneasy and wish for a quick end to the interaction. From the least to the most important event, the affection and respect of others are vital for our happiness.

The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.
 
As long as we live in this world we are bound to encounter problems. If, at such times, we lose hope and become discouraged, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but every one who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. Indeed, with this attitude, each new obstacle can be seen as yet another valuable opportunity to improve our mind!
 
Thus, we can strive gradually to become more compassionate, that is we can develop both genuine sympathy for others' suffering and the will to help remove their pain. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.
 
Our need for love
Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another. However capable and skilful an individual may be, left alone, he or she will not survive. However vigorous and independent one may feel during the most prosperous periods of life, when one is sick or very young or very old, one must depend on the support of others.
 
Inter-dependence, of course, is a fundamental law of nature. Not only higher forms of life but also many of the smallest insects are social beings who, without any religion, law or education, survive by mutual cooperation based on an innate recognition of their interconnectedness. The most subtle level of material phenomena is also governed by interdependence. All phenomena from the planet we inhabit to the oceans, clouds, forests and flowers that surround us, arise in dependence upon subtle patterns of energy. Without their proper interaction, they dissolve and decay.
 
It is because our own human existence is so dependent on the help of others that our need for love lies at the very foundation of our existence. Therefore we need a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.
 
We have to consider what we human beings really are. We are not like machine-made objects. If we are merely mechanical entities, then machines themselves could alleviate all of our sufferings and fulfil our needs.

icy

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 08:58:23 AM »
We are aiming to develop a strong feeling of love and compassion with respect to everyone, but this cannot be done without first seeing an equality of all beings throught meditatively cultivating equanimity. Otherwise, you'll easily be able to generate love and compassion for friends and may be able to extend a little of this to neutral people, but even minor enemies will remain a huge problem. Thus at first it is necessary to recognize how friends, neutral persons, and enemies are equal.

This is done in two ways. One way to break down rigid classifications of people is by reflecting first with respect to friends, then neutral persons, and then enemies:
"Just as I want happiness and don't want suffering, so this friend wants happiness and doesn't want suffering. And equally, this neutral person wants happiness and doesn't want suffering. And equally, this enemy wants happiness and doesn't want suffering."

Another way is to reflect on what your relationships have been with others over the course of lifetimes, beginning with neutral persons, then friends, and finally enemies. An enemy in this lifetime wants to do you in, but over the course of lifetimes was this person just an enemy? No. If you do not believe in rebirth, utilize the rebirth game, the rebirth perspective, as a technique for making your mind more flexible.

ratanasutra

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 04:20:52 PM »
There are many type of love, what we need to expand is love in Buddhism term. Love from our attachment, condition only lead us to have more delusions but love in Buddhism bring us with real peace and happy in mind.

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, see also the page on attachment).
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

"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"
His Holiness the Dalai Lama from 'The little book of Buddhism'

psylotripitaka

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 06:15:32 AM »
My retreat master once spoke about love from the point of view of emptiness. We conceive ourselves and others to be inherently existent, and with this comes 'inherently different' and we perceive a gap between us. He said 'as long as we love from this side of the gap we will never be able to fully empathize with others'.

The lamrim clearly explains that first we need to accomplish a stable equanimity that does not have strong conceptualizations of others into categories of friend, enemy and stranger. Then it lays out the stages for developing affectionate love, cherishing love, wishing love, and equalizing and exchanging self with others - all of which lead to universal love, which is love combined with wisdom realizing emptiness. Exchanging self with others is only fully achieved by combining love with wisdom realizing emptiness.

Here is a beautiful poem by Lama Tsongkhapa that is so blessed it elevates the practitioner into a vision of what it is like to have exchanged self with others completely:

http://www.naljorprisondharmaservice.org/pdf/Twenty-SevenVerses.htm

dsiluvu

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Re: How To Expand Love
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 12:43:08 PM »
C'mon let's admit it... the LOVE we have is filled with attachments and projections. To love someone freely without any expectation of the 8 worldly concerns and to be reciprocated back is quite difficult I must admit hence that is why we are all still in samsara. But to create such aspirations is definitely possible and good for it creates the causes for us to have merits to actually apply this true equanimity on all sentient beings.

For a start we can definitely try to be kind to those who we deem and label as our enemies or that we see as someone we do not like or click with. I remembered a sangha's advice, if you find a particular person difficult to deal with... you should deal with this person even more and practice patience with him/her. This person then becomes like your "teacher"... able to give us the opportunity to practice our so called "compassion". Or we can start with animals, or someone in our family that we do not like. The point is to start somewhere.

When we can truly understand true reality, we will not be so affected by others and how they treat us because we do not see them based on our judgements and based on our past experiences with them... instead we see them as who they are now... another sentient being and with the correct motivation of benefiting others, we would be able to generate boddhicitta and find way to help them. This then become "real" Love. A love that is consistent and can never fade, a love that grows more and more... and the more we do it, the more it becomes easier and easier... that I suppose is when you know you are truly practicing compassion and your practice is heading some where positive :)