Thoughts on Self Love and Loving Others
August 12th, 2009 · 1 Comment
Love can be expressed as a person’s capacity to care for, have feelings for, care about, treat with compassion and equanimity. It is the quantitative capacity to engage another being with the simple behavioral skills of loving compassion. It is using the positive energy of love to care for and nourish others.
What is most important in Buddhism and part of the core teachings of the Buddha is self love and an understanding of who you are. We must develop the capacity to generate love for ourselves, before we can be an example of love for others to learn. If we are not capable of generating love for ourselves we will be unable to offer a lasting unselfish love towards others. The energy that exists in love is real.
It is an energy that you can feel, experience and express. It is the experience of self love that becomes the genesis for a powerful energy that manifests itself in the expression of compassion towards all living beings. Love is energy, and it is learned.
Because it is learned it can be perfected, and strengthened. The Buddha reminds us that do not overlook any act of kindness no matter how small. One small action can create a cycle of karmic proportions. It is like holding the door open behind you for someone to pass through. It is just a small gesture of kindness that gets passed along from person to person.
If you are not capable of taking care of yourself, nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself- it is very difficult to take care of another person. In the Buddhist teaching, it’s clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is learned.
Practice becomes the training that is needed in order to perfect the loving more properly. Perfecting the ability to be able to extend happiness and joy takes practice. You must practice. Practice by extending to the other person the virtues found in selfless love and non-attachment.
Knowing the self is wisdom, thus becoming the reasoning behind the premise; if you do not know and love yourself you are unable to extend this behavior towards others. Meaning you are unable to love others, because the building block of self love is missing in the foundation you’re building. Love yourself. Then extend that love to others. This is the message of the Buddha.
I Wish You Peace,
Bhante n. Kassapa Bhikkhu
Buu Mon Temple
Port Arthur, Texas, 77640