Q: Rinpoche, is it possible to find lasting happiness in relationship?
A: Lasting happiness in relationship – with the Dharmic perspective, nothing ever actually last. So that’s Dharmic perspective.
Many people tend to go in this direction, that when they become a Buddhist practitioner, they think that they can bring some kind of valuable method from here and there, and then try to apply in work, and try to apply in life, and try to apply in marriage, or in the couple’s life, but the very purpose of the Dharma, that is there, is to understand ourselves that nothing actually last. Everything is impermanence. That is the reality of life in general. It has nothing to do with whether you like that or not, whether you disagree or not.
Like an example, there’s a time where the couple can be together for certain period of time, but then the health challenges, obstacles in life is always there. It’s not something that somehow you managed to click and combine the two person’s soul together and permanently and then it’s as if the outside reality did not exist. It’s not as if outside, the reality challenges, somehow decide to disappear just because there’s two people wanting to be happy and content with each other. That’s not the reality.
Even if you may be the perfect couple with each other, there’s always constant challenges that is beyond the, between your partner, and that is the real challenge. If you have nothing else other than that, then it can be a lasting experience, it can be a lasting journey, it can be, but wherever we go, our samsara is never beyond, it’s not something behind us. It’s always around us, and we are within the samsara, and everything is bound to change, at all the time. So I think understanding that is very important.
If you are happy with one person, and just simply appreciate that. Don’t try to bring into a very perfection level. So I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist, all I’m trying to say is that, just try to understand the Dharma teachings and practice. The very meaning of the Dharma teaching is to understand and to accept the true meaning of impermanence, that everything is bound to change. So that is the purpose of the Lord Buddha’s teaching.
Everything that appears in our naked eyes, if you investigate with your wisdom, with your intellectual understanding, with your studies, there’s no rigid form that truly exist permanently in front of you. Everything is constantly, in a changing, and always in a movement. So that’s that.
So I think if you are in a couple, the most important is even that you may be very happy with each other, there’s always external challenges that will challenge your bond, that will challenge your connection to your partner. It’s not something like I give you one solution, and you found one solution, and somehow the reality disappears. It doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t function like that.
It’s like a beautiful flower. It’s like a beautiful flower that you plant in front of the window in the balcony, and then it needs the flower, first it needs the right condition, and then after that, you give a water once in a while, and then if you put too much water, and then again it will destroy the flower itself. If you not put any water, then again the flower will disappear, destroy by itself. And then, even you succeed on adding with the right circumstance around the flower, and then there is always a cat and dogs and people who destroy the flower.
So the life is like that. You can be in the perfect condition between you and your partner, it can be husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever, but then finding one solution is not a solution for everything. And understanding the Buddha’s teachings is to bring a sense of acceptance of the meaning of impermanence, but it does not mean that reject everything that is beautiful, you know? You can enjoy your life, you can find many pleasant moment in life, but at the same time, don’t try to think that there is some kind of, with one method that you can solve everything. That does not exist.
And if your partner is a Buddhist practitioner, it definitely helps very much, because the distinction about being a Buddhist practitioner means looking inward. So if there is a partner that looks inward and then definitely it helps to maintain this so called, the ordinary life, but if you don’t have, if you have a partner that never looks inward, and then any external challenges may have consequences within your own personal life very rapidly.
So I think it’s really important, whether you have a husband, wife, family members, whatever, I think, to be a truly a Buddhist practitioner, I think it’s quite, not an obligation, but it’s quite important to look inward little bit. Not the worshipping kind of being Buddhist religious practitioner, but rather meditative attitude, and I think that is really important. And if you have that, then you tend to look outward, what is the actual cause, and what is the actual problems, and what are the actual issue, rather than expressing your emotions only. So that’s that.
Facebook Livestream Q&A
16th August 2020