A bottle of love

Bhante Sujatha‘s recent dhamma talk was about the Buddha’s teachings. Bhante explained how the Buddha’s teachings (dhamma) are like water, without shape or form. But people, mankind, have insisted on trying to quantify and contain it. So while some put it in a bottle, others may put it in a glass. In doing so, there is created a separation and dogmas associated with the Buddha’s teachings.
But none of this was any part of what the Buddha taught. This is simply human beings who felt compelled to try to contain and label the teachings.

As this dhamma talk has settled in with me, I see the strong parallel that it has with love.
Can any of us measure love by putting it into some sort of container?

This reminds me of the “Love is…” cartoons that most of you are probably familiar with.
Although they are very cute and sweet, is some thoughtful action actually the true meaning of love? Is it numerous actions that define love? What about words? Are there certain words that one could say that express the depth of what really love is?
Yet I think that most of us try to define love every day; to encapsulate it, hold it, contain and control it.
And in doing so, I think that we lose a great deal of what the power of love actually offers.

The connection here, is that the Buddha taught love. Not words of love or thoughts and actions. But something far more universal, that cannot be contained or measured.
I would not dream of trying to offer you a definition of that here. Only to say that I see love, the dhamma and all beings as pieces of a greater truth. One that does not belong to you or me.
And I see that my practice of acceptance, kindness, compassion and equanimity are simply the oars to row my boat in this ocean of experiences.
For now, I see that I do need my practice; just as I need a bottle to carry water.
But perhaps with an open heart, I may one day let go of my practice and the bottle. This may in fact be Nibbana.

May you be well, happy and peaceful.