Solitude, Relationships, & Buddha
There are some, who having perceived the Buddha’s teachings through the lens of rigidity, fear, controlling tendencies, elitism, and competition, then go on to teach others their mistaken views like a pre-symptomatic plague carrier spreading his disease to others, who fall ill, and often die. If teachers and authors such as these have increased your sufferings, I sincerely commiserate.
Although asceticism is antithetical to the “Middle way” of the Buddha it is still taught, and sometimes valued more than the Dharma itself. There are some teachers who implore their students to eschew relationships but is that what the Buddha taught?
In the Samyutta Nikaya we read, “Ít is the WHOLE of this holy life, this friendship, companionship, and association with thé good.” Ask an anthropologist, they’ll tell you, mammals (especially primates) did not evolve to thrive in solitude. To the contrary, we evolved a longing for supportive companions. A longing as urgent as if our lives depended on it; for they most certainly do.
In the numerical discourses attributed to the Buddha we read that one of the benefits enjoyed by those who train in Metta meditation is “…he is dear to human beings…”. Perhaps that is why the Buddha taught love meditation as well as wisdom contemplation.
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