Friday, June 18, 2010

Susan Piver - Love, Spirituality and Four Noble Truths

Great new post from Susan Piver - author of the recent The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love among other books - over at Huffington Post.

Relationships are one of those tough areas where we often know that we are struggling to get it right, yet still seem in the fog about how to do so. Susan identifies our desire for lasting love, for the relationship to be permanent as one of our major blocks, rather than simply allowing the relationship to be what it is - bound by the same laws of impermanence as are all things, nothing is permanent.

Love, Spirituality and Four Noble Truths

By Susan Piver

Posted: June 18, 2010 08:00 AM

I have been a student of Buddhism since 1995, and the study and practice of dharma inform my actions, friendships and creative focus. When you become a Buddhist, part of the commitment is to take off the training wheels and do your best to put the dharma into play in all situations. It's no longer theoretical. It is your life. It's a fun, scary, and noble challenge.

When the Buddha became enlightened, the first thing he handed out was the four noble truths and upon becoming a Buddhist, they are your benchmarks.

  1. Life is suffering. (Doesn't mean "life sucks," by the way. More like, "life changes.")
  2. Suffering is caused by attachment. (Wanting things to be other than they are.)
  3. It is possible to stop suffering. (Phew.)
  4. There is an eight-fold path to liberate yourself from suffering, which includes such things as Right Speech, Right Action and so on.

There have been countless words written on each of these four and you could definitely spend a lifetime in contemplation of just one of them. To apply them to everyday life means to accept that things won't ever quite work out (at least not in any conventional sense) -- that when you hold on to anything too tightly (even the idea of not holding on to anything too tightly), it backfires; you can definitely figure all this out, and, finally, that there is a step-by-step explanation for how to do so, via practices, insights, devotion and so on.

Okay, all very well and good. It's not like I can do any of this, but I am fairly diligent about trying to in every area of my life. Well, every area but one. Work -- check. Money -- check. Family -- check. Society -- check. Romantic relationships -- check NOT.

When it comes to love and partnership, I definitely try to wiggle out of the four noble truths.
Read the whole post to find out how she tries to work through her ideas about relationships.

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