Understanding and Love

“In Buddhism we learn that understanding is the very foundation of love. If understanding is not there, no matter how hard you try, you cannot love. If you say, “I have to try to love that person,” this is nonsense. You have to understand them and by doing so you will love them. One of the things I have learned from the teaching of the Buddha is that without understanding, love is not possible. If a husband and wife do not understand each other, they cannot love each other. If a parent and child do not understand each other, they will make each other suffer. So understanding is the key that unlocks the door to love.

Understanding is the process of looking deeply. Meditation means to look deeply at things, to touch things deeply. A wave has to realize that there are other waves around her. Each wave has her own suffering. You are not the only person who suffers. Your sisters and your brothers also suffer. The moment you see the suffering in them, you stop blaming them, and you stop the suffering in you. If you suffer and if you believe that your suffering is created by the people around you, you have to look again. Most of your suffering comes from the lack of understanding of yourself and others.

In Buddhism, I don’t think that compassion and loving-kindness are practiced for the sake of our individual salvation. The truth taught by the Buddha is that suffering exists. If you touch suffering deeply in yourself and in the other person, understanding will arise. When understanding arises, love and acceptance will also arise, and they will bring the suffering to an end.”


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