The Meaning of True Love (from a Buddhist’s Perspective).

Via David Zenon Starlyte
on Jan 11, 2013
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fall lovers

Did you ever fall in love with someone?

I did.

Love and longing can drive anyone to perpetually clinging to an object of desire, with no end in sight—a need that can never quite be satisfied, a thirst that can never be quenched.

Can the love of falling in love outweigh the fear of “falling”…? 

I guess the moment you fall in love with someone, you’re in the moment, and it’s only afterwards that you’re able to make the analysis, and even realize you were in love. Falling implies surrendering—being out of the mind, or out of your mind! Falling means you’re going somewhere. What happens when you “land“?

Where do you find yourself? Floating on air, on land or in hot water?

What does it mean to fall in love or be in love, or even stay in love?

In Buddhism, striving for that which is outside of our true nature, is seen as wasteful. Arbitrarily seeking fulfillment in another is an attachment based on a craving which will always ultimately end in suffering. Perhaps in this searching we can take one step closer to finding our true nature, one’s true vocation, our true purpose.

Time is so short—the memories are fading away. Truth is a cascade of moments. Enjoy the breath, flowing in and out ceaselessly like the waves on the shore in timeless perfection. This is the only true reality.

Even if you die for your lover, is that not sacrificing something that is not yours to give?

In loving you, I love myself, but in loving myself selfishly I neglect you.

In living for you, I forget my own needs.

Ken Wilber said:

“Real love will take you far beyond yourself; and therefore real love will devastate you.”

Is this true? When you sink your hand into another’s spirit and meet emptiness, how can you not feel the wound of love? When the love of your life leaves you, how can you not be left empty? But can love leave a wound and why should emptiness leave you bereft? How can real love devastate you when real love is the absence of superficial egoic needs, the absence of falsehood, and all real love is the presence, and the present? With love, there can be emptiness, but no feeling of emptiness.

Can you actually remove love…can it ever be extinguished or forgotten?

If love is the presence, the sacred consciousness, the Divine expansiveness, is it possible to subtract from it, remove from it, and delete it from your consciousness? Is it possible to forget it?

Love is an experience of being whole. When we link it to another, we become dependent on that other for the fulfillment or satisfaction of our love fantasy. True love does not require a vehicle for its fulfillment or expression.

Osho said that “love demands nothing. It simply shares.”

Photo: Show Biz Superstar

Another way to look at it is within the context of the first of Buddha’s noble truths—“life is dukkha.”

Dukkha is divided into suffering, change and conditioned states.

1. Suffering.

Consciousness as the created form, or the potentiation of thoughts, fills the universal ether. This immediately creates an existential loneliness, which can never be entirely filled until it (the creation) is no longer separate from the formlessness of Divine consciousness. This separation is loneliness. This is the suffering part of dukkha—the separation from God.

2. Change.

This world of created forms, and as yet uncreated potential is always changing. As we enter it, we change, and eventually pass through it, to the beyond. One thing is certain—the fluid of life is a changing stream.

3. Conditioned states.

We are affected by everything around us. Energy created can never be destroyed; it is merely transferred/transformed to evolve into a new form. Thus everything that “is” affects everything else that “is.” The spider weaves its web, creating a living matrix of awareness.

We experience romantic love within the context of these three aspects of creation. We suffer most when we are in fear. Sometimes the pain can seem insurmountable…we can seem alone in the vast expansive universe. Yet, at its core, suffering is an illusion.

Our fear of suffering is often far worse than the suffering itself.

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.

~ Woody Allen


To be identified with something outside of yourself is to invite suffering.

Suffering is derived from perceiving a loss.

Authentic love is whole, complete and, in essence, beyond suffering. The absence of love is suffering. The illusion of loss leads to suffering. When something dies, you don’t lose it, because you never owned it. We suffer most when we are attached to the illusion. True love does not leave a wound when it is lost, because true love can never be lost. Once created, “it” exists forever within the unity of the Divine sphere. The divine conversation of love is something beyond a mere notion or discussion—it is alive, filled with the budding possibility of a butterfly about to open its wings for the first time.

Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.

~ Anonymous

Rumi asks,

“Oh lovers, where are you going? Who are you looking for? Your beloved is right here.”

Love: Ceaselessly searching for the ultimate feeling of completion. That which is searched for, exists already within.
Today, don’t wish it was another day—wish it was today. Then you will realize yourself already blessed.Enjoy the paradoxes. And most importantly, keep falling in love!
Elihu Vedder (1836-1923) - The Cup of Love (in full color) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Sep 2012

Bonus: How to know if He or She is The One:

Relephant Reads:

Your Soulmate Isn’t Who You Think It Is.
How to Find the One.

Like elephant love on facebook.

Ed: Lynn Hasselberger

Photo: flickr/Brian Holland


About David Zenon Starlyte

David is an international SOUL-COACH who travels the world as a spiritual healer, coach and mindful speaker. David's vision is to create journey retreats to guide people to places of mystery and power to rediscover, balance and ground themselves. Growing up in apartheid South Africa, David had an early initiation into a dysfunctional society. It influenced his thinking and search for peaceful and spiritual solutions. A passion for healing followed a severe childhood illness and a medical approach he found lacking gentleness and compassion. David later studied theology in war-torn Jerusalem for 3 years, before graduating as a Naturopathic physician in Australia. David has studied personal transformation for over 20 years with some of the leaders of human evolution including Grand Master Mantak Chia, Master Chen and Ajahn Brahm. He has worked as Naturopath, Wellness Expert and Healer at the best luxury resort as well as number one destination spa in the world. His spiritual education in mindfulness, prayer and wisdom has included immersion into Qi Gong (China), Buddhism (Thailand & Australia), Taoism (Thailand and China), Tantra, Qabbalah (Jerusalem). For more information, he can be found at: Website:, , Email: [email protected] , Facebook:


71 Responses to “The Meaning of True Love (from a Buddhist’s Perspective).”

  1. tiedyedowl says:

    As a Buddhist, and a human being, I've suffered with this question, and had at one point decided not to ever look for love or accept it. Now, I'm realizing I'm meant to love-and it's my job to learn attachment principals, and yes, I will suffer, but not only will it be worth it, but it's what the world needs. More love.

  2. Love on…..right on!!!!

  3. Right on!!!! Thanks for sharing Thich Nhat Hahn…..BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  4. A journey, an experience, a thing, a passion, an emotion, all these things and more. Got to fall in love with love!!!

  5. Known pedophile? Well not according to the law. The police found no evidence to pursue the investigation against him. A claim by a bitter estranged wife does not create guilt (nor innocence)….it just points out that we don't really know. Should we assume he is guilty. No!!!!

  6. Agreed 100%. Beautifully said. Thank you so much.

  7. Hi Jay. In the end, everything is an illusion. It doesn't mean it doesn't feel crap….and hopefully sometimes glorious too. That is the Buddha's message. NON-PERMANENCE. I hope my writing stimulates thought and that's my intention. Loss and grief are challenging topics. My Buddhist teacher said he felt no grief or pain at his father's death, he simply accepted it. Whether this is viable or easy to digest for everyone is another story. He is a monk! Yet, his lessons are helpful, in that there is actually no loss, just a transformation from one form to the next. Is there a need for a great suffering? Well I don't mean to negate anyone's suffering, or to try to reduce their loss. We all suffer. I just hope I can provide some comfort to folks, and some guidance too. Life is transient for us all.

  8. why do you require a logic?

  9. Bless you, Lyn and so sorry for your loss.

  10. Bless you, Raja. NON-PERMANENCE. I hope you find the bright side.

  11. Debra Faith says:

    really needed to read this today as i sit here struggling with the release of an attachment i have to someone i love. awesome and much needed perspective today. thank you david.
    sat nam

  12. Ramin says:

    wow…very insightful…enlightened statement..

  13. Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is existing on web?

  14. Choying says:

    Divine consciousness and God in an article on Buddhism. Stopped reading there.

  15. rene bosman says:

    It surprises me that the : Metta sutra wasn't mentioned in your post. I think If you to talk about Buddhism and Love one can't surpass the Buddhist Sutra about Love or Metta.

  16. Edmarie says:

    What is the name of the picture/ painting you selected to post for this article?

  17. Michelle says:

    Love should not devastate or hurt. In Buddha's Psychology, love is a positive state of mind, it is virtuous, it can never be a negative emotion. The pain is from the attachment which are all voices of ego.

  18. lamasuryadivorce says:

    Love demands nothing. It simply shares. "Learning how to love is the goal and the purpose of spiritual life — not learning how to develop psychic powers, not learning how to bow, chant, do yoga, or even meditate, but learning to love. Love is the truth. Love is the light." by Lama Surya Das

  19. Shanon says:

    Wow, great read, so "love" might just be worth the "pain" it may cause.

  20. Amy says:

    Love is an evolutionary byproduct of procreating… I LOVE love, I need love, I want love… I got to have it… Oh my gosh am I singing a James Brown song??? awesome… It feels so much better to love myself i’ve learned… Everything falls into place when youdirect it inward instead of outward hoping and expecting a grand return… That’s true love… Everything else is your genes doing the evolutionary dance 🙂

  21. Debbie says:

    Buddhism is not a religion, but a teaching, and way of life…Buddha never claimed to to be God, or a god…
    His teaching is a deep Spiritual way of life in the most personal sense in order to live in self peace. His teachings are for all people no matter their origin, faith, etc….
    His teaching are for the purpose to bring one to a much higher mindful reality, one that does not exist in things, other people, circumstances etc…Peace and happiness are in self alone…