Buddhadhamma and love

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Buddhadhamma and love

Postby clw_uk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:56 am

Hey



Could anyone please give me some advice in getting over love


I have been in love with a guy for some years now, even though he tells me he loves me he maintains that he is straight (and so doesnt want to be with me) despite this i cant help loving him. Its got to the point where i feel a strong sense of dukkha when i speak or see him. Is there a way to focus practice so i can "get over him"

Any advice would be welcome

metta
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:59 am

Hi Craig,

Why do you want to stop loving him?


Gabe
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:04 am

clw_uk wrote:. Is there a way to focus practice so i can "get over him"



Time is pretty much it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby clw_uk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:05 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:Hi Craig,

Why do you want to stop loving him?


Gabe




Because he maintains that he is straight (and im gay) and so he wont be with me (although he has said he loves me), so the romantic love i feel can never be given back which creates a lot of dukkha. I try to tell my self that it can never be but that doesnt work, i have tried focusing on the replusive parts of his and my own body but that doesnt seem to have reduced my love for him either so im at a loss at the moment

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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:12 am

clw_uk wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:Hi Craig,

Why do you want to stop loving him?


Gabe




Because he maintains that he is straight (and im gay) and so he wont be with me (although he has said he loves me), so the romantic love i feel can never be given back which creates a lot of dukkha. I try to tell my self that it can never be but that doesnt work, i have tried focusing on the replusive parts of his and my own body but that doesnt seem to have reduced my love for him either so im at a loss at the moment

metta


All the things you are doing are making your pain worse. The fact of the matter is you are going to suffer for awhile. Don't try to get rid of it; that is simply aversion. Learn to live with it and give yourself time, but I do realize that is a very hard concept for 20 somethings. It is going to be a slog, accept it; do your practice, live your life and find something else to do other than ruminating on him. Best also to keep your contact with him to a minimum.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:14 am

I see,

You want to stop being infatuated with him. I would say pay attention to how the thought or presence of him makes you feel physically and either appreciate whether its unpleasant or pleasant. If its pleasant then why isnt that enough? If its painful then paying attention to the pain should eventually erode the infatuation.

Good luck

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:14 am

Tilt's advise sounds good too.

:anjali:

Gabe
Last edited by Prasadachitta on Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:17 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:Ben's advise sounds good too.

:anjali:

Gabe


Best advice in this thread so far, since Ben has not posted yet in this thread.

Your is good, as well.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Dan74 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:18 am

I agree that it takes time and there is no point pushing it away.

But it is also possible to channel this energy, this dukkha you feel into other pursuits. Like practice. As hard as meditation may be at times like these, it is also extremely valuable. If you sit until there is enough clarity to see these feelings arise and change... This may be a very long sit or many sits, but I would say stick with it. Times like these are best times for practice.

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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby zavk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:25 am

Hi Craig,

I haven't got time to write a longer response (need to rush off soon). But if I may share my experience of heartbreak. I experienced a tough breakup some years ago with someone whom I had been with for 7 years. The break up shattered my perception of 'self'. I had up till that point thought that 'I' was someone that she loved and adored. An important thing I learned in the process was that a lot of the grief and pain surrounding questions like 'Why? Why not me?' had to do with my sense of 'self', my sense of 'me'. I had invested a lot of energy into preserving the 'me' whom I thought she loved. So when we broke up, I not only lost her but also that idea of 'me'. What hurt most was the realisation that she didn't love 'me'. And the hardest part about the breakup was learning how to let go of that 'me'. I had to learn how to let go of that 'me' before I could let go of her. And one way I learnt how to let go of 'me' was to learn how to deal with dukkha.

I should say that we are back together again after a break of a few years. But it was hell for me during the time.

Take care
With metta,
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby clw_uk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:26 am

All the things you are doing are making your pain worse. The fact of the matter is you are going to suffer for awhile. Don't try to get rid of it; that is simply aversion. Learn to live with it and give yourself time, but I do realize that is a very hard concept for 20 somethings. It is going to be a slog, accept it; do your practice, live your life and find something else to do other than ruminating on him. Best also to keep your contact with him to a minimum.



I suppose i am adverting a bit, it just hurts so much sometimes. I try to practice celibacy and abandon sexuality but if im honest deep down inside i really want to be with someone (this guy in this case) although it might be something to do with my age as you say



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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:55 am

Why not try practicing metta? or a contemplation of the body?
time heals many wounds, but be open to love don't make my mistake and shut yourself off from the possibility.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Jechbi » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:02 am

Find someone else.

It might not be the ultimate solution, but at this stage it's probably a realistic way to get a better handle on the fact that this person doesn't belong on the pedestal you've created (in fact no person does). The problem is the pedestal. Which you created. fwiw.

Hang in there ...
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:38 am

Greetings Craig,

I agree with Manapa.

Manapa wrote:Why not try practicing metta? or a contemplation of the body?
time heals many wounds, but be open to love don't make my mistake and shut yourself off from the possibility.


Also, be mindful of the craving that appears. Use that in the framework of dependent origination to analyse your experience.

Best wishes.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Ben » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:54 am

Hi all,

tiltbillings wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:Ben's advise sounds good too.

:anjali:

Gabe


Best advice in this thread so far, since Ben has not posted yet in this thread.

Your is good, as well.


You guys made me laugh!
It seems as though my presence has been 'invoked', so here goes...

Craig, there aren't many of us who don't understand where you're at right now. And I think the plight we face either at the end of a relationship or when our love is not returned is made worse because we live in societies that reify romantic love. We are fed messages time and again that love is the highest truth, the pinnacle of experience and is everlasting. It was Charles Bukowski who said (I now no longer know where) that Love is a mad-dog from Hell. Perhaps it was in his anthology of Poetry published under 'Burning in water, drowning in flames'. Anyway...
It was the Buddha who warned us all that from attachment comes suffering. Also, keep in mind from the suttas:
"That's the way it is, brahman. That's the way it is. Sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear. And it's through this sequence of events that it may be understood how sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear...

...Then Queen Mallika went to King Pasenadi Kosala and on arrival said to him, "What do you think, great king: Is Princess Vajiri dear to you?"

"Yes, Mallika, Princess Vajiri is dear to me."

"And what do you think: would sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair arise in you from any change & aberration in Princess Vajiri?"

"Mallika, any change & aberration in Princess Vajiri would mean an aberration of my very life. How could sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair not arise in me?"

"Great king, it was in connection with this that the Blessed One — the One who knows, the One who sees, worthy, & rightly self-awakened — said, 'Sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear.'

-- MN87


From memory, this insn’t the only example where someone, or a couple, were made aware of the reality that romantic love, like everything else, was anicca, anatta, and dukkha, and not the everlasting and sublime state we are hoodwinked into believing.
Craig, right now, apart from continuing with your practice, there isn’t much else I can advise you on doing. Maintain your precepts, your meditation and study. Other people’s advice on this thread is also sound. The fact is, you are going to experience pain, so in the words of my teacher ‘just observe’ and you may wish to limit contact with the boy in question. And if you are in the habit of practicing metta bhavana, be sure to include yourself as an object of metta, karuna, mudita and upekkha.
Take care of yourself Craig, and please make use of the friendships here on this forum for your benefit and happiness.
Metta

Ben
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby Fede » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:00 am

Well, everyone has been most helpful and constructive in a very 'Buddhist' way (and rightly so - see forum!) but if I may, I would add a Program which I know works, and can be implemented to run parallel with your practice.
This is not my program. But it definitely works, and you might like to consider the benefits.....
(for 'Ex', read 'Unrequited Love'.....)

The Concrete Gude to getting over Love: No Contact.

Q. What is no contact?
A. No contact is just that. It's breaking all ties to your ex.

Q. What is no contact for?
A. No contact is meant as the quickest means for you to heal.

Q. If I implement NC will I get my ex back?
A. Probably not, but that's not what NC is meant for. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but if you're banking on NC as a way to manipulate your ex back into your life you are in for a rude awakening.

Q. What should I be doing to implement NC?
A. Absolutely cutting all ties to your ex. That means no calls, emails, text/sms, IM's - nothing. You need to vanish completely from their life and in the process, make them disappear from yours. In addition, get rid of their phone number, emails and email address, remove all the pictures/photos/memories/gifts. Anything that reminds you of the ex should be boxed up and put in a safe place out of daily view and easy reach.

Q. What should I be doing during NC?
A. First off, allow the grieving process to happen naturally. You need to grieve a loss, but don't dwell on it. Hang out with your friends, immerse yourself in a new hobby and start working out. Working out is especially useful because not only does it release endorphins which help make you feel better but you'll start looking your best which will help you attract someone new. If you need Counseling, by all means go.

Q. I don't want to implement NC because I don't want to lose him/her.
A. Unfortunately you already have. Clinging on to them or the hope you'll get them back will only keep you down longer. Additionally, the natural reaction of any Ex when you cling on to them is for them to literally spring in the other direction. If you do have any chance of a reconciliation, your best bet is to leave them alone and forget about them.

Q. My ex wants to be friends, is this a good idea?
A. No, not if you are still in love with them. For the most part Ex's will keep you as a friend so they have a 'back up plan' in case things fail with the new love of their life. Ask yourself if you're happy being number 2 in someone's life. If so, more power to you. But if you respect yourself and have healthy self-esteem you'll never settle for being left hanging on a string. All it will do is keep you clinging to the false hope of getting back with your ex, keep you down in the dumps much longer than you should be and ruin any chance you have of meeting someone new. So hey, if you want to be miserable, go ahead and be good buddies with your ex.

Q. I can't resist the urge to contact my ex! What should I do??
A. If you've deleted all their contact info yet still remember how to reach them, call a friend instead. Go work out. Take a bike ride. Go for a jog. Do something to occupy your mind. Get out, don't sit around the house pining for your Ex. Rest assured they are not sitting around with their new love wondering why you aren't calling them.

Q. How long should I wait to contact my ex.
A. Never be the first to contact your ex. If you need something back, ask a friend to go and get it for you. If you have children together, NC is almost impossible. The best thing to do is keep whatever contact you must have, to a minimum. Don't argue with them, don't ask for a second chance, don't beg them to take you back. Just be very polite and business-like. You thank yourself later for being the bigger person. Additionally the best way to make someone see they're being an a**hole is to not be one in retaliation. Let them vent and just be quiet. Sooner, rather than later, it'll hit them that they're being absolutely childish and you'll come out smelling like a rose.

Q. I've been on NC for some time and my Ex just contacted me, what do I do?
A. The question is - why are they contacting you? If it's just to get something back, box up their stuff and have a friend give it to them. No need to reply. No matter what, don't contact them back right away. Don't answer if they call. Show them you have a life and you don't need them in it. Yes, it's kind of a game but a necessary evil. I know a lot of people might disagree with me on this, but I'm a skeptic. I want to know why the ex is contacting me. If they are having doubts, they will make it clear. If you respond to them, be sure to take a day or two to do so. This will give you time to think clearly about what you want to say. When you reply, make sure that it's polite and to the point. Don't make any small talk. Don't bring up the past (big no- no!). Don't volunteer any information about yourself. Be the first to end the conversation. Do be happy, do smile inside (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and know that you'll be fine. Trust me, if your ex wants you back nothing will stop them from getting in touch with you. And this is ideally what you want. You want them to initiate the contact because it will be their heart that has changed.

Q. What happens if I break NC?
A. You'll end up right back to square one and have to start all over. Trust me, while you are on NC with them and they are with someone else, you don't want to know how they are doing. You don't want to hear how happy they are. You can't handle what they have to say.

Q. What if I see them in public?
A. Bottom line, avoid contact with them at all cost. If you can't, just be polite and smile and wave if they wave at you. If they want to talk, remember the rule. No small talk, no information. Show them that to all intents and purposes, You're doing just fine without them - even if you aren't.

Q. What if my Ex never contacts me?
A. Then it was never meant to be. Consider yourself lucky and smart enough to realize the sooner you implemented NC and got on with your life the sooner you can meet the right person for you. That's really what this whole 'no contact' deal is all about.

Realize that none of us is immune to heartbreak. Consider each relationship as a lesson life teaches us that we carry on to the next relationship. "What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger." That's what NC does. It allows you to reflect on your past mistakes and grow as a person. Each time you fail in a relationship you gain invaluable knowledge that will aid you in the next.

There will be someone else, I guarantee you that. The sooner you cut ties with the ex, heal yourself up, improve where you can and embed the lessons of your past, the better off you'll be for someone else.

Above all, never tell yourself "I'm not good enough, no one loves me, blah blah blah." That's a self-defeatist attitude and kills your confidence and self-esteem. You are absolutely good enough and someone will love you. You just have to be happy with who you are. Be the best you you can be.

Every step forward you make, is one step closer to meeting the person of your dreams. It will likely happen as soon as you have decided you respect yourself enough to take back your personal power. The power you currently give to your Ex every moment you spend thinking about them, wishing they would call or clinging on to them. Take back control of your life by vowing to move on. To accept what has happened. To let go completely.

To be free to love again.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby adosa » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:20 pm

Hi Craig,

Hope your doing better today. I've often said I'd rather snap my femur than go through another heartbreak. You've already have some great advice albeit a bit contradictory. Some say get back on that horse, others say stay off that horse. It's up to you what course you want to take. Worldly attachment or not (see Ben's post on MN 87). Personally, I've yet to find a relationship that wasn't wrapped in dukkha.

But at any rate what should you do now? Well as one who is still bouncing around with worldly attachments I have observed recently through my actions, mindfulness, and meditation just how much I have tried to escape from the pain of past failed relationships. I really didn't even know I was doing it.

Until finding the Dhamma I never knew just how much escapism I involved myself in. From the subtle to the not so subtle. But the one thing that I have found that works is not to escape the pain but to face it, as raw as it maybe, through daily meditation and mindfulness. I'm just now wrapping up an on again off again, on again, off again, arrggggggg......... relationship. For years this thing went on and each time we called it quits I thought "no worries, I can handle it, she's no big deal." DENIAL!!! I never really healed from it, or other past relationships.

So, until my recent realization of my escapism I never healed. Now, as a process of healing, I actually try to bathe myself in the pain during meditation. I visualize everything about the relationship that brings up those painful feelings. Maybe this technique isn't listed in meditation guides, I don't know. Maybe some would think it is counter-productive or dangerous. But this visualization goes on all day long when going through heartbreak, so why not stop, sit down, and take a good, close, hard look at it. This process has helped me observe just what it is I have feared to deal with, the actual acute pain of what I perceived as failure, rejection of "self", love lost, and on and on. Until I was able to face it head on and really open up to the feelings going on, deep inside and hugely repressed, I wasn't able to fully heal. I think the best teacher I have heard in this respect is Joseph Goldstein. He has some talks on Dharmaseed about afflictive emotions and is much better at describing how to handle them than I am. If you would like I'll post a link this evening.

When you are in the midst of this state of mind, it is very difficult to see the impermanence of these feelings. They seem omnipresent. But if you sit with them and let them flow out it becomes more and more clear that, yes, these too will pass and sometimes, as I have found, it is our running from them that makes them all the more painful and frequent.

So, from my experience, just sit with this situation and get to know these feelings. Don't worry about thoughts arising, mindfulness of breathing, desire, or whatever. I've found that with intense emotions like these that it is easy to "see" them and to stay with them if we have the courage and the foresight to do so.

I know you probably have heard this all before but sometimes it helps to hear it again. Hope this makes sense and will help you out,



peace

adosa
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby clw_uk » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:43 pm

Thank you all for the advice i really appreicate it :smile:
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby adosa » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:03 pm

Keep after it friend. We're fortunate to have the Dhamma.


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Re: Buddhadhamma and love

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:08 am

Hi Craig, and everyone,

I was quite fortunate, i think, to have my heart broken in my early twenties by a lovely woman from Korea. I loved her more then anything on earth. She seemed simply perfect, the one i had always hoped and longed for. But she had to work, and care for her family, back in Korea, as her father had passed away and she was the oldest child.

I went to visit her, and saw her circumstances. It was clear, our relationship was impossible, she could not leave Korea and i simply could not live there. I had to go home never to see her again. Fortunately, somehow, i discovered in that relationship the seeds of what i now understand as metta, mudita, upekkha and karuna. She had an innate understanding of these qualities, i think. Perhaps that is what i loved about her?

Anyway, i realized that i could go on, and these essential qualities could still be a part of my life. She would not be there, but what was most deep and wonderful about her was something i could still discover and experience in the world, cultivate in my own life.

Since then, loving has been easier. Still hard sometimes, but much easier. There is suffering in life, but metta and joy can be there as well, if we learn to identify it less with specific individuals. Its something we can share with any and all sentient being we open our hearts to, imo, in a dharmic way...

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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