Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A monk in love? In love with a monk?

Mara Schaeffer, Seth Auberon, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
Romance - there's nothing higher to live for!
The Jungian therapist Robert Johnson has written a lot about the individual’s path through anima or animus projection onto the “beloved.”

He describes how it leads to wild infatuation for awhile before reality sets in and we are able to recognize that those qualities imputed on others are in ourselves.
Then we can own up to them and actualize them in our lives. Johnson discusses the myth of romantic love in his book We. It, in fact, is the dominant myth in the Western world:
When we fall in "love," particularly with monastics, it may be due to unconscious wish to actualize the inner monk or nun within us, which we are likely projecting onto our idealized love.

One of the nicest things about therapy is that one gets a little perspective on the process. So something good can come out of being emotionally beat up and put through the wringer like a rag.

Guru/tycoon Deepak Chopra says that whereas “love liberates, attachment imprisons.”

Our meditation practice is important in its ability to help us realize our attachment and clinging, particularly to illusions, so we can eventually move instead toward liberation.

The Buddha-to-be in Love (Lust)

In a Rebirth Tale (Jataka) the Buddha-to-be was a yogi, a cave-dwelling hermit in the Himalayas. He came down and became smitten with a beautiful queen he saw partially undressed. Lovesick, he could do nothing.
When the king returns he asks what ails the recluse, who explains that he has fallen in love with the queen. The king gives her to him. As he is handing her over, he whispers to her, "Help this poor fellow." She winks. The Buddha-to-be and the queen leave together to consummate their new relationship. Then the queen asks where they are going, where they're going to live. He says he doesn't know because he's always been a recluse
She sends him back to the king to ask for a house. The king gives him a building that used to be a latrine. When they get there, the queen says, "You don't expect me to go in there -- clean it." He does. Then she says she needs this, that, and everything else before they can move forward....
In a modern retelling, deep in the jungles of Isaan, in northeast Thailand, an American monk was living for a year. He was discontented due to residual lust. While traveling in a car with Ajahn Chah, another monk asked him what was the matter. The young American confessed that he was missing his ex-girlfriend. She had written him. Ajahn Chah suggested he ask her for a token to remember her by. The monk became excited at the suggestion -- a lock of fragrant hair or some such? Ajahn Chah is reputed to have suggested a small vial of her feces instead. That way whenever he missed her, the vial could be opened. They laughed and the monk was reformed.

For what is the girlfriend he was lustfully missing, his imagination or her body's hidden nature? (See, Reflections 176).
There was a great Bollywood movie about an Indian man who cons a woman in New York to marry him so he can come to America and earn a green card. He then falls in love with an Indian woman there and eventually leaves the American girl.

Tsoknyi Rimpoche (Rigpa News)
Tsoknyi Rinpoche (link), who accompanied Sharon Salzberg on her recent Los Angeles workshops, also went through a similar experience, but more genuine. This is how describes him:

"With great humor, intelligence, and candor, Tsoknyi Rinpoche also details his own struggles to reconnect with essence love.
"Identified at an early age as the incarnation of a renowned Tibetan master and subjected to a rigorous monastic training, he ultimately renounced his vows, married, and is now the father of two daughters.
"As he recounts his own efforts to strike a balance between the promptings of his heart and an obligation to preserve and protect the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche provides a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern life, and encourages each of us to rediscover the openness, fearlessness, and love that is the essence of our own life."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great read