The Four Elements of True Love According to Buddha

By Francesca F.

How to Deepen Our Relationships
In the Buddhist faith, there are four elements of love that make it ‘true’ love. These elements must combine to make love true and long-lasting.

They are not magical or even spiritual concepts, they are simply behaviors and virtues that we must hold in order to make love strong.

These four elements of love are easy to grasp, but they make a relationship much more joyful and fulfilling.

1. Maitri

Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth. – Buddha
Maitri is translated into kindness or benevolence. This is not only the desire to make someone happy but the ability to do so. You may have every intention to love someone, but the way that you love may make them unhappy.

You can harness the ability of Maitri by truly looking at the one you love and developing a deeper understanding of who they are as a person. By understanding the person you love, you will, in turn, learn how to love them. This understanding is based on the ambitions, the desires and the troubles of your love.

Understand the one you love

By understanding the person you love, you will, in turn, learn how to love them.

Develop this element:

Take time to be attentive and observe your love. Listen to their words and ask them about their hopes and ambitions. Learning more about your love helps to open the door to understanding them, and how to love them in a meaningful and fulfilling way.

2. Karuna

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change. – Buddha
The second element of true love is Karuna, meaning compassion. This is the ability to ease the pain of others, as well as the desire to. This is also based on understanding, but the understanding of the suffering of your love. Only when you truly understand their suffering will you be able to help in alleviating and easing their burdens.

Practice meditation to help you in your understanding of your loved one, what distresses them and how you may be able to help and support them.

Develop this element:

Communicate with your loved one about what troubles them and ask if there is anything that you can do that will help in a direct way. Opening this communication, developing an understanding and the desire to help will strengthen your relationship.

3. Mudita
There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path. – Buddha

Only when you understand your love’s suffering will you be able to alleviate it.
Easing the pain

The third element is Mudita, translated as joy or happiness. This element of true love is one of the most important, and in some ways, it ties all four elements together. If there is no joy or happiness in love, then the love is not true. If your love upsets you or distresses you, then it is, in fact, not love to begin with, or the love has been lost. Love must be fulfilling and bring joy and happiness to those who feel it.

When we are in love and we experience joy from it, our love grows stronger, and this is a sign that the love is true.

Develop this element:
Take time to do the things that bring you joy, both together and as individuals. It is this development of joy in yourself that allows you to share your joy with your love. You should be able to find joy within yourselves, as well as with each other, to have love in its truest form.

4. Upeksha

The price of freedom is simply choosing to be. – Buddha
The final one of the four elements of love is Upeksha, meaning freedom. When love is true, both people within the couple should have freedom, and feel free within the relationship. Each person should feel free to be an individual to allow them to grow and develop in their own way. This allows you to be yourself and have time alone, safe in the knowledge that your love is doing the same. There should also be freedom within the relationship, being able to feel comfortable to share ideas and thoughts without fear of judgment. Having freedom whilst also being able to be a part of a couple is a sign of the truest love.

Happiness in love

If there is no joy or happiness in love, then the love is not true.

Develop this element:

Spend time apart from your partner without feeling the need to check up on one another. Do the things that you enjoy as an individual and are proud of. Once you come back together, discuss these things and why they make you happy.

Spend some time talking about different thoughts and ideas you have had. Act on these ideas and plan activities that one person wants to do. Developing a sense of freedom within your relationship allows both people to grow.

The Buddha spoke of many things, but love and life were of huge focus. His teachings on love show us that true love should be something positive and enlightening, bringing joy and freedom to our lives. Keeping these four elements of love in mind may just make it a little easier to find true love for ourselves.

Love is a gift of one’s inner most soul to another so both can be whole. – Buddha

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