H.H. the 17th Karmapa - Romantic Relationship Can Be Viewed As A Spiritual Practice Itself

in this video HH 17th Karmapa answers a few questions of youth in 2012, the last question is about Love and relationship and practice, this will start at 37:12 of the video, the following transscript will start on 42:50 :


We can actually see our romantic relationship themselves as a spiritual practice. We don' t have to view them as two separate things.

In fact if we can practice the dharma well, we will be able to be a source of true love, but if we can`t practice the dharma well, than we won`t be able to give any genuine love at all. So therefore our romantic relationships are actually a genuine practice of dharma. 

And they don' t need to be viewed as separate from dharma whatsoever. Because relationships are in essence a relationship between two minds. Whether it is romatic relationships or family relationships, everything happens in terms of working with our minds and the way we respond to the events and other's minds. So it is a mind to mind relationship that we are working with.

So we can try our best to practice that relationship as a dharma practice, as a practice of understanding our mind better and our working with our minds.

But sometimes even if we try our best, we still fail in the relationship and it doesn t work. Nevertheless, if we approach it as a practitioner than we definitely must view the relationship as a spiritual training. We shouldn`t view our relationship being separate from the dharma. As a spiritual practitioner if we view our relationships are separate from the dharma, than that is a very strange situation to be in, because than what relevance is the relationship to you?

We don`t need to be free from attachment also. Some people think that they might be going against buddhist teachings if they are in a relationship because the relationship involves attachment.But actually we don`t need to be free of attachment in the beginning; we can slowly work out developing freedom from attachment.

And the important point underscoure there is that it is freedom from attachment that produces true love. Often what we think, is that if there is no attachment than there can not be any love. In order for there to be love there has to be attachment. That is the logical form we are setting up for ourselves. 

But from the buddhist perspective if we free ourselves from attachment thats the the only way that we will be able to provide true love. So therefore the buddhist practice and spiritual excercice that we bring into relationships is gradually freeing ourselves from mundane attachments and offering true love.

If we are able to do this as an authentic dharma practitioner than our relationships will go well and even thought they might not always work out, than we will be able to say that we had a relationship in which we didn`t harm the other person and that was beneficial for both people.

by H.H. the 17th Karmapa



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