Thread: Working with Love

  1. #1
    This is a short transcript of Ajahn Sumedho from a 1991 Forest Sangha Newsletter:

    Working with Love

    A Mature Balance

    Enlightenment is nothing more than growing up, being a mature human being. It is the perfection of human kamma, in other words: maturing, being responsible and balanced - being a moral, wise human being, who is no longer looking for 'someone to love me.'

    Maybe we can't find love in someone else, so we want God to love us. We say, 'I believe in God, and he loves me - nobody else does, but God loves me.' But that's still immature - to want love from 'out there', from someone else. A lot of religions just appeal to that level of emotional development: God loves you if you do good, and gets angry if you do bad; when you're naughty you go to hell, and when you're good you go to heaven. So you do good, not because it's the right thing to do, but because you think that if you do bad, God is going to punish you and send you to hell.

    Now enlightenment is something really practical that each one of us can realise: each one of us is capable of being awake. When you're a child and emotionally immature you have to have love from someone else, because you can't love yourself yet. But when you're mature and balanced, you can love - you don't need to be loved by someone else.

    It's nice to be loved by others, but it's not necessary. You're not going around, saying, 'Please love me'. When there's wisdom, you can love - you don't need to be loved any more. That is the maturing of a human being, and there's no rebirth in that.

    Love is the natural radiance from wisdom. When there's wisdom, it's the natural way to relate to others - but when there's no wisdom, we tend to corrupt love with lust, possessiveness, jealousy and fear of rejection. All these things distort any kind of love we might be able to generate from our own mind, unless we love through wisdom rather than through desire.


    Any thoughts? (Not intended to be a comparative religion discussion, thanks!)

  2. #2
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    It's not the right way to use the word 'enlightenment' for me. What it means is that an enlightenment experience can be later interpreted to see the world in this way, with a conviction which can be life changing. I approve of the sentiments, however. All you need is to love.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
    Under the Bodhi Tree
    I agree with the reflection of Ajahn Sumedho. His thought about doing good just because can be extended also to the field of Buddhism in the case of Kamma. Kamma as a teaching of the Buddha is a Lokiya teaching -a lower teaching- because we have to act in a wholesome way just because and not because we want good results. We have to practice not in order to accumulate good Kamma but in order to be free from ill will, delusion and sensual gratification.

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