CREDOS: Buddha’s love — I

How would Buddha love? By seeing everything as fundamentally like himself. “If one’s thoughts towards spirituality were of the same intensity as those towards love, one would become a Buddha in this very body, in this very life,” state the Love Poems of Sixth Dalai Lama.

Valentine’s Day is one of my favourite holidays. The fact that this heart-centered day falls around the same time as Tibetan New Year reminds me to make new year’s resolutions relating to those I love and renew my commitment to cultivating goodness of heart. These resolutions involve opening my heart and mind; listening better; learning to forgive and to love even those I don’t like; and coming to accept and bless the world, rather than fighting with it or trying to escape from it.

Some say we are in this world to learn and to evolve in consciousness. Certainly primary among life’s lessons is how to love and to love well, and to BE love, as well to give and receive it. Love is central to happiness, growth and fulfillment.

How would Buddha love? By seeing every being as like himself, and thus able to treat them and love them in the way he would be treated. We call this infinitely benevolent, selfless love, Bodhicitta or the Awakened Heart, the very spirit of enlightenment. One can find this taught beautifully in the “Loving-kindness Sutra”; in Shantideva’s classic The Way of the Bodhisattva; in Atisha’s Mind Training and Attitude Transformation; and in Togmed’s Thirty Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. —