TranquilTurmoil

Love, Loving-Kindness, Bonds, Attachment

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I was just reading this article which was an excerpt of a dhamma talk by Ajahn Chah :https://www.lionsroar.com/nibbana-is-giving-up-letting-go-and-being-free/

 

The article as well as TTC got me thinking... is it universally wise that we ought to temper our love for the individuals we care about? Our family, friends, love interests, pets? Or is this more applicable to the Theravada tradition Ajahn Chah practices that seeks to totally transcend Samsara? Im thinking in relation to my life while I had and hope to have again (to as strong an extent) universal loving-kindness, getting too close to individuals has led me to be emotionally burnt. While this isn't inherently "bad" or "misfortune", it doesn't seem like something worth repeating.

 

So I'm wondering what various perspectives you all might have on skillful and beneficial uses and cultivation of universal love (as in relation to personal bonds with loved ones), how to avoid the pitfall of attachment (or at the very least unhealthy attachment), when loving-kindness in a detached and universal sense is more appropriate than love and the connections/bonds formed upon it.

 

Even further, I'm wondering if even loving-kindness needs to be moderated as strong loving-kindness can lead to strong love and the risk of attachment/unhealthy attachment.

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I find it is not a matter of being distant vs being attached to person bounds but instead you can both have personal bounds with loved ones and still be 'unattached'. It is a sense of enjoying the moment with someone but understanding that like a dream this time won't last and being Okay with the dream ending.

 

(Don't know if what I said makes sense or if I'm 'qualified' to talk about stuff being new to 'Buddhism'.)

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Strong loving kindness needs to go hand in hand with jnana (wisdom) for one to become more fully fledged as a human being. Loving kindness without wisdom will result in one being an empath and lots of unpleasant states of being, including but not limited to burnouts, exhaustion, constructions and tensions in body, etc. Great wisdom without metta results in excessive cunningness, vying for mundane things while forgetting the grand scheme of things.

 

So if you work on the two of them together, there will be no reason to moderate loving kindness. Just let it expand and cover the whole cosmos, while you stay rooted in the mundane reality.

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