Tag Archives: Love

The Way to Love: Meditations for Life by Anthony de Mello

Summary

  1. de Mello’s deep thoguhts on happiness, love, life

Key Takeaways

  1. Yet another belief: Happiness will come if you manage to change the situation you are in and the people around you. Not true. You stupidly squander so much energy trying to rearrange the world. If changing the world is your vocation in life, go right ahead and change it, but do not harbor the illusion that this is going to make you happy. What makes you happy or unhappy is not the world and the people around you, but the thinking in your head.
  2. If people want happiness so badly, why don’t they attempt to understand their false beliefs? First, because it never occurs to them to see them as false or even as beliefs. They see them as facts and reality, so deeply have they been programmed. Second, because they are scared to lose the only world they know: the world of desires, attachments, fears, social pressures, tensions, ambitions, worries, guilt, with flashes of the pleasure and relief and excitement which these things bring.
  3. And when you are depressed and miserable, the cause is there for all to see: Life is not giving you what you have convinced yourself you cannot be happy without. Almost every negative emotion you experience is the direct outcome of an attachment.
  4. In order to be genuinely happy there is one and only one thing you need to do: get deprogrammed, get rid of those attachments.
  5. Now the tragedy of an attachment is that if its object is not attained it causes unhappiness. But if it is attained, it does not cause happiness—it merely causes a flash of pleasure followed by weariness; and it is always accompanied, of course, by the anxiety that you may lose the object of your attachment.
  6. There is only one way to win the battle of attachments: Drop them. Contrary to popular belief, dropping attachments is easy. All you have to do is see, but really see, the following truths. First truth: You are holding on to a false belief, namely, the belief that without this particular person or thing you will not be happy. Take your attachments one at a time and see the falseness of this belief.
  7. Second truth: If you just enjoy things, refusing to let yourself be attached to them, that is, refusing to hold the false belief that you will not be happy without them, you are spared all the struggle and emotional strain of protecting them and guarding them for yourself.
  8. The third and final truth: If you learn to enjoy the scent of a thousand flowers you will not cling to one or suffer when you cannot get it. If you have a thousand favorite dishes, the loss of one will go unnoticed and leave your happiness unimpaired. But it is precisely your attachments that prevent you from developing a wider and more varied taste for things and people.
  9. Who decides what will finally make its way to your conscious mind from all the material that is pouring in from the world? Three decisive filters: first your attachments, second your beliefs and third your fears.
  10. True happiness is uncaused. You are happy for no reason at all. And true happiness cannot be experienced. It is not within the realm of consciousness. It is unself-consciousness.
  11. Change is only brought about by awareness and understanding. Understand your unhappiness and it will disappear—what results is the state of happiness.
  12. How can you achieve this? Through an important realization, namely, that every time you strive to improve on Nature by going against it, you will damage yourself, for Nature is your very being.
  13. with a view to making it learn something. If what you attempt is not to change yourself but to observe yourself, to study every one of your reactions to people and things, without judgment or condemnation or desire to reform yourself, your observation will be nonselective, comprehensive, never fixed on rigid conclusions, always open and fresh from moment to moment. Then you will notice a marvelous thing happening within you: You will be flooded with the light of awareness, you will become transparent and transformed.
  14. The royal road to mysticism and to Reality does not pass through the world of people. It passes through the world of actions that are engaged in for themselves without an eye to success or to gain—or profit actions.
  15. How does one attain this quality of love? Anything you do will only make it forced, cultivated and therefore phony, for love cannot be forced. There is nothing you can do. But there is something you can drop. Observe the marvelous change that comes over you the moment you stop seeing people as good and bad, as saints and sinners and begin to see them as unaware and ignorant. You must drop your false belief that people can sin in awareness. No one can sin in the light of awareness. Sin occurs, not, as we mistakenly think, in malice, but in ignorance.
  16. The cause of my irritation is not in this person but in me.
  17. Apply this now to every image that people have of you and they tell you that you are a genius or wise or good or holy, and you enjoy that compliment and in that minute you lose your freedom; because now you will be constantly striving to retain that opinion.
  18. So the first ingredient of love is to really see the other. The second ingredient is equally important to see yourself, to ruthlessly flash the light of awareness on your motives, your emotions, your needs, your dishonesty, your self-seeking, your tendency to control and manipulate. This means calling things by their name, no matter how painful the discovery and the consequences. If you achieve this kind of awareness of the other and yourself, you will know what love is. For you will have attained a mind and a heart that is alert, vigilant, clear, sensitive, a clarity of perception, a sensitivity that will draw out of you an accurate, appropriate response to every situation at every moment.
  19. It is in that act of seeing that love is born, or rather more accurately, that act of seeing is Love.
  20. It is the desire for “the more” that prevents clear thinking, whereas if we are discontented, not because we want something, but without knowing what we want; if we are dissatisfied with our jobs, with making money, with seeking position and power, with tradition, with what we have and with what we might have; if we are dissatisfied, not with anything in particular but with everything, then I think we shall find that our discontent brings clarity. When we don’t accept or follow, but question, investigate, penetrate, there is an insight out of which comes creativity, joy.
  21. The final disappearance of insecurity feelings will only come when you have attained that blessed ability of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field to live fully in the present, one moment at a time.
  22. Each time you attempt that task you will understand that what clear thinking calls for is not intelligence—that is easily come by—but the courage that has successfully coped with fear and with desire, for the moment you desire something or fear something, your heart will consciously or unconsciously get in the way of your thinking.
  23. Effort does not lead to growth; effort, whatever the form it may take, whether it be willpower or habit or a technique or a spiritual exercise, does not lead to change. At best it leads to repression and a covering over of the root disease. Effort may change the behavior but it does not change the person.

What I got out of it

  1. Surrender your attachment to desires, realize it’s your reaction to things that make you happy or not and you have control over that, be aware and truly see yourself and others (the act of seeing is Love)

How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

Summary
  1. Thich Nhat Hanh distills love to some of its core attributes and reminds us that we cannot possibly love others until we love ourselves, it takes understanding to love and that love is made of four key elements – loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity
Key Takeaways
  1. True love is made of four elements: loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity
  2. You can’t offer happiness until you have it for yourself
  3. We can also call it inclusivesness or nondiscrimination. In a deep relationship, there’s no longer a boundary between you and the other person
  4. True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person
  5. There are three kinds of intimacy: physical, emotional, and spiritual
  6. Loving someone doesn’t mean saying “yes” to whatever the other person wants. The basis of loving someone else is to know yourself and to know what you need
  7. True love gives us a lot of space. It is not possessive by any means
  8. True love includes a sense of responsibility and accepting the other person as she is, with all her strengths and weaknesses. If you only like the best things in a person, that is not love. You have to accept her weaknesses and bring your patience, understanding, and energy to help her transform.
  9. Other people’s actions are the result of their own pain and not the result of any intention to hurt you. A wrong perception can be the cause of a lot of suffering. This is why, whenever we have a perception, we have to ask ourselves if our perception is right.
  10. To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we actually are
  11. I think of our behavior in terms of being more or less skillful rather than in terms of good and bad. If you are skillful, you can avoid making yourself suffer and the other person suffer. If there’s something you want to tell the other person, then you have to say it, but do so skillfully, in a way that leads to less rather than more suffering
  12. One way we nourish our love is by being conscious of what we consume. Many of us think of our daily nourishment only in terms of what we eat. But in fact, there are four kinds of food that we consume every day. They are: edible food (what we put in our mouths to nourish our bodies), sensory food (what we smell, hear, taste, feel, and touch), volition (the motivation and intention that fuels us), and consciousness (this includes our individual consciousness, the collective consciousness, and our environment).
  13. Our individual consciousness is influenced by the collective consciousness of our environment. We absorb and reflect what is around us.
  14. We should practice in such a way that every moment is fulfilling. We should feel satisfaction in every breath, in every step, in every action
  15. Meditation consists of generating three kinds of energy: mindfulness, concentration, and insight
  16. The notions and ideas we have about happiness can entrap us. We forget that they are just notions and ideas. Our idea of happiness may be the very thing that’s preventing us from being happy. When we’re caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form, we fail to see the opportunities for joy that are right in front of us.
  17. Live in a way that encourages deep happiness in yourself and others. You can vow to bring joy to one person in the morning and to help relieve the suffering of one person in the afternoon. Ask yourself, “Who can I make smile this morning?” This is the art of creating happiness.
What I got out of it
  1. Quick but hugely helpful read about what it means to love and what kind of mindset and qualities it takes to have true, deep and lasting love

Read How to Love

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Love Wins by Rob Bell

Summary:

  1. Rob Bell argues that the eternal life starts before we die and we can enter either heaven or hell, depending on whether we accept and embrace love or turn away from it
Key Takeaways
  1. Goes through a lot of Bible verses and examples and shows how Jesus was all about love. I can’t relate to a lot of the examples but I very much can and agree with the general theme of the book, love wins even if not directly observable or obvious
  2. Love demands freedom
  3. God is love and turning away from that love leads to unlove or unhappiness (Hell)
What I got out of it
  1. This was a book that is out of my typical comfort zone but I think there are a lot of great lessons to be taken out of it. Mainly, there is no downside to love. Love yourself and everyone around you and you will live a happy life. Eternal life doesn’t start once we die, we can choose to live in heaven every minute of every day. But, by turning away from love we enter hell immediately.

Buy Love Wins

The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

Summary:
  1. Don Miguel Ruiz again lays out extremely powerful principles in a simple and easy to follow way. As with his other books, what he preaches is easy to say but difficult to follow. By truly loving yourself, you open yourself up to happiness and love from others.
 
Key Takeaways:
  1. Have to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else
  2. The perfect woman/relationship is one where you do not want or need to change your partner nor they you
  3. You love yourself and because of this, you have no false pretenses about yourself or who you are. You are completely happy and satisfied being completely alone but sharing moments is also nice
  4. In your heart is all the love you’ll ever need. It can create any amount of love – not just for yourself, but for the entire world. You can love unconditionally and this will attract everyone
  5. What makes you truly happy is love coming out of you
  6. Be generous with your love. Generosity opens all doors
  7. Your reactions are the key to having a wonderful life
  8. Your life is a manifestation of your personal dream. Become a dream master
  9. Becoming aware is about being responsible for your own life
  10. One’s true mission in life is to make yourself happy
 
What I got out of it:
  1. An amazingly profound book which has also been extremely influential in the way I think about myself and my relationships with others. Highly recommend