Topic and Questions for Discussion
We will compare and contrast "love" and "metta" (aka loving-kindness) from a Buddhist
Some questions to spur your thinking:
culture, since the 60’s, has idealized the idea of universal “love”. Do we
support this as Buddhists? If so, how does this affect our daily lives?
we “love” someone, does that imply the existence of an ego or self? (That is,
“I” must be in love with “you”, two separate entities and thus the duality of
an ego or self.)
“love” another area where the ultimate ideal becomes complicated by
conventional reality? (Can we “love” someone that we are putting in prison for
legitimate reasons? Should we put people in prison?)
“love” need an appropriate distance, similar to compassion? (With compassion,
we noted in Sunday Sangha that there is a need to
maintain a proper distance- not so close that we become victims too, and not so
distant that we are no longer attentive to the matter at hand.)
Brahmavihara ("divine abodes") are four
qualities we are encouraged to develop. They are metta
(loving-kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy), and upekkha
(equanimity). What role does equanimity play in our practice of metta?
And this quote may spur some discussion: metta
is love without clinging.
Research Cheat Sheet
Here are some pages
that will get you started:
Main article on "Love" on
Buddhism on Wikipedia (within the main article on Love).
Thanissara Bhikkhu teaches
about the Brahma-vihara on AccesstoInsight.
Metta (loving-kindness) on Wikipedia.
Karuna (compassion) on Wikipedia.
(equanimity) on Wikipedia.
(sympathetic joy) on Wikipedia.
Bodhisattva article on Wikipedia.
Greek definitions of Love on
and his doctrine of Two Truths articles on Wikipedia.