On the spiritual path, the rules can be surprisingly simple. Check out this modern interpretation of some Buddha wisdom turned dating tips.
Ever wondered what it would be like to have the ancient wisdom of the Buddha to guide you through the dating process? If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path by Charlotte Kasl, PhD, has been loved by relationship-seekers since its publication in 1999.
The thing is, if the Buddha did give dating tips, they might be a little confusing to the modern-day human—so consider this your Top 10 CliffsNotes, each with a modern day interpretation.
“When you say goodbye to someone or decide not to see them again, remember you are a moment in their story. Make it a story that doesn’t leave a scar.”
Translation: Do whatever it takes to leave on good terms.
“Equality doesn’t need to mean that both people earn the same amount of money, have equal status, or are equally good looking. It means they value each other as equals when it comes to making plans, making love, or making decisions. They have an equal voice. One does not sacrifice himself, or herself, to the other.”
Translation: Equality is not based on statistics. Equality is based on shared values, shared communication, and shared self-respect.
“In an unequal relationship, because the subordinate mate acquiesces and complies, the dominant one is never challenged to reflect on him- or herself. There is little or no growth, flexibility, or melting into the shared heart—no forming of the ‘us’ bond that brings two people into spiritual union.”
Translation: In equal relationships, both people are challenged to grow and evolve together, rather than one person always pushing for the other partner’s growth.
“Things are always changing—our thoughts, cells, hormones, hairline, consciousness, relationship, and the landscape around us. Instead of trying to freeze the present moment and hanging onto it, we need to remember that life is a process of constantly letting go.”
Translation: The only constant is change. Every present moment is a chance to embrace the newness and let go of the past.
“To be loyal to our journey is to know the rhythm, tone, and pulse of our essential inner world—the song that is ours alone. When two people bring the richness of their inner music to each other, they bring the possibility of a new composition, of counterpoint, harmony, voices weaving together creating a magical composition. If we’re disconnected from the music of our essence and attempt to find happiness through another’s song, there will be dependency and a relationship without harmony.”
Translation: We must be know and accept who we are fully before we enter a relationship, lest we end up in co-dependency. When two whole people join in a supportive relationship, the results can be magical.
“If we have the belief ‘I’ll always be abandoned,’ we create situations where we’ll be abandoned, and forget to notice when people are loyal friends. Our task on the spiritual path is to stop repeating the same old stories and become aware of all the ways we keep proving our stories are true.”
Translation: Thoughts become things. Choose to reinvent your story for better results.
“We can either bargain, hold back, and hang onto comfort and security, or we can take a deep breath, and say ‘take me,’ and leap into the fire.”
Translation: The risk is often worth it, especially in love.
“There are so many dating books with numerous rules about the right thing to do and say when dating. On the spiritual path, the ‘rules’ are simple. Simply ask yourself: Am I being guided by spirit or by my rigid ego?”
Translation: Ego-driven actions love rules. Spirit needs no rules to guide us.
“Ego says ‘I want someone to fill me up.’ Spirit says ‘I’ll have someone to help me wake up, to challenge my blind spots, and be a companion and playmate on the journey.’
Translation: If we believe and live as already-full beings, we don’t look to others to fulfill us.
“Another aspect of loving kindness is to remember that it’s not being free of imperfections that’s crucial to relationships, it’s being honest about our faults and mistakes. When we accept our humanness, we become able to apologize (not grovel) for having been rude, insensitive, or dishonest. Our apology to another is a form of compassion to ourselves because it signifies acceptance. This is at the heart of intimacy.”
Translation: By honestly accepting our faults and mistakes and apologizing with sincerity, we practice compassion towards ourselves and others.
Author Charlotte Kasl, PhD, a practicing therapist and nationally recognized workshop leader for more than 20 years, has had lifelong connections to feminism, Buddhism, Quaker practice, and Reiki healing. The author of several books including Finding Joy, she lives in Lolo, Montana.