Acknowledging that this may be a sensitive topic to some, first of all. We may be aware that while Buddhism supports love for Mother Nature, it does not really support romantic love between two people.
This is because in Buddhist view, true love—the love for Mother Earth—brings happiness to you and others. If romantic love is true love, it will make you and the other people happy. If it is not, then we will suffer and make other people unhappy as well.
Romantic or non-romantic, the important thing we should keep in mind and close at heart is true love.
From this perspective, true love may need four elements:
- Maitri (loving kindness)
- Karuna (compassion)
As you can see, with loving kindness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness, this great love extends to and embraces all creations in this universe. No matter what their shapes, sizes or appearances.
4 Elements of True Love
Maitri is loving kindness. It is your capacity to offer happiness to yourself and to other people. If you cannot offer happiness to yourself and others, it is not true love.
And in a romantic relationship, if you are not able to help the other person to be happy, both of you may suffer. It is then not considered true love.
This is why loving kindness is an essential element in bringing and cultivating happiness in our relationships with all the creations on this Earth.
Karuna means compassion. This is the kind of transformative energy that can heal the wounds inside your soul or inside the other person’s soul.
If you cannot take care of or transform your own suffering or that of the other person, then it is not true love.
Understanding is born from suffering. When we understand the other person’s suffering, compassion is born.
With compassion, we can then love each other more wholeheartedly with all of our energy.
In a relationship, if you find yourself cry more times than you want or you make the other person cry, then it is not true love.
True love sparks joy. It is this element that puts a smile on our faces and the sparkles in our eyes.
When we are joyful, we know that we are truly loved.
True love is inclusive. It is non-discrimination. There are no separations, no barriers between you and the things or people around you.
We cannot say his suffering is not my suffering. With true love, my suffering is our suffering. My happiness is our happiness.
It will then be all-embracing. Happiness then will be limitless.
It can then continue to grow and touch more things on this world, including minerals, animals, vegetables, particles, and many more.
This is true love, the great love of the Buddha for all things under the sun.