The Buddha in the bedroom – 10 ways to create a great loving relationship
[Takes 7 mins to read]
With Valentine’s Day celebrated on 14 Feb in many countries across the world, here’s a Buddhist perspective on Love. Firstly, Nichiren Daishonin did not set any moral rules about anything in life so there are no ‘do’s and don’ts’ at all about things like sex before marriage, contraception, fidelity, sexual orientation or divorce.
Perhaps the other big difference from the traditional romantic Western view is that real Love in Buddhism is not about walking ‘into the sunset’ with ‘The Man/Woman’ of your dreams; even though a whole advertising industry has developed over decades to make us believe that meeting ‘The One’ is the answer to all our problems.
Here are 10 guidelines that can help us develop fantastic relationships. I’ve pulled them together from 29 years of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and getting great guidance from SGI leaders. I’ve also drawn on powerful insights and breakthroughs that my clients have had during coaching sessions (relationships are probably the most frequent topic that people ask for help with.) I feel a little cautious about publishing this post as a list of ‘10 tips’ because I do not wish to trivialise this profound and sometimes complex topic. Also each one of us is unique and we all have our own individual lessons or insights to learn. Anyway, in no particular order, here goes:
- Your partner is not there to make you complete, even if you do call them your ‘other half’. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote: “Love is not two people gazing at each other, but two people looking ahead together in the same direction.” That means two people coming together to foster each other’s spiritual growth and happiness and move together towards shared goals in life.
- Love in Buddhism is all about personal growth, human revolution and making the world a better place. I love these words by Maronite Catholic Kahlil Gibran in his bestselling book ‘The Prophet’: “And stand together yet not too near together for the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
- Because life is precious, nurture a deep desire to unconditionally respect your partner’s life – and your own, whatever challenges you may be facing right now. Ultimately, says Buddhism, a current of deep mutual and self-respect is more important than the surface waves of romantic love.
- Do not make your partner your ‘religion’ or your ‘object of worship’, your happiness is always ultimately your own responsibility, not theirs.
- To be happy, both of you must become deserving winners in your relationship, not needy victims.
- Always put more energy into changing yourself than into trying to change the other person in your life (which doesn’t work…) And expect more from yourself than from your lover. Remember that your partner may stir up stuff from the depths of your life, so be grateful – Thank the Spoon! Move your own life instead of ‘shouting at the shadow (partner)’ when things get tough. Then the shadow will also move. This is the Buddhist principle of esho funi or the ‘oneness of life and your environment’ – incidentally esho funi gives the full story on the ‘Law of Attraction‘ – more of this another time.
- Always argue with a view to making progress rather than just to proving that you are right.
- Learn to laugh about and treasure your differences more than you argue about them. For example, see if you can follow Daisaku Ikeda’s guidance to see your partner’s ‘nagging’ as the ‘sweet song of a bird’ who cares about you! Non-judgemental mindfulness techniques can also help here.
- When you feel hurt by the ending of a relationship and you naturally want to build a wall of protection around you, remember that when you lock the world out, you lock up the love inside you too.
- Leave a difficult relationship learning as much as you can from it and changing the karma that attracted it into your life, otherwise you’ll repeat the same pattern over and over again in your love life. As famous author and coach Joe Vitale says, “get the lesson and you no longer need the experience.”
It is easier said than done to implement these principles, some of them I still struggle with a lot, but I am definitely making progress the more I chant and the more my life grows.
Finally, I asked my friend, awesome singer songwriter (check out the link) and fellow Buddhist Meri Everitt for a young women’s perspective on this topic and she sent me loads of good guidance, which I paraphrase here:
- When you argue, remember that, as Nichiren said: ‘winter always turns into spring’.
- Everything has equal value, the love and the arguments… they are all part of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
- Be grateful to your partner when you find them annoying because it makes you chant and study and grow and ultimately attain Buddhahood, because on a day when it’s all going smoothly you might not have bothered to make the extra effort.
- And finally, remember that flowers don’t run around desperately chasing bees. Bees chase flowers. So young women just have to flower and nurture their own lives and then the bees will come along!”
Loads of love… (and more importantly :-), deep respect…)
PS. If you enjoyed this post you may also like The Six Types of Love, Conflict resolution and the Buddha in you and Two words to ban from all your arguments.
47 Replies to “The Buddha in the bedroom – 10 ways to create a great loving relationship”
Happy Valentines Day guapo (not to be confused with guano!)!
Thank you for your loveliness and wisdom etc. xxxx
Pleasure Treasure and right back atcha guapa bellissima chica! Dx
Brilliant guidance, David, thank you so much. 🙂 Sue x
Pleasure Treasure! D
Thank you for providing new meaning to celebration of valentines day, Cheers
My pleasure, have a great day, thank you, David
thank you so much…this is very encouraging!
You are very welcome Tanya. warmest, David
Happy Valentines Day David. Thanks for sharing this guidance. 🙂
Pleasure Treasure! D
so true Davo! Think we can confidently tick most of these off the list now chez nous… took a while to work out some though (and I love number 6!). Marc
Hey Marco, ah yes, no.6, possibly the hardest one of all… Keep #spreading the lurve. Manly hugs, Dx
Happy Valentine’s day David. Thanks for sharing the wonderful Guidance.
Thanks David.. for the most meaningful and wise Valentine’s Day message in a day filled with advertising messages.. your voice is doing the work of the Buddha.. many thanks!
Another lovely blog David!
thanks bud, much appreciated. About time we met up again… (31 years??) D
Thanks David, that’s a great post, so nicely put! Have a fab day xxx Max
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE WONDERFUL POST!!
That was great!
This is sooooo awesome!!! I NEEDED THIS GUIDANCE..
Wow What a thought provoking post. The name itself ‘Buddha in the bedroom’ is making curious to know. 1 and 6 are awesome. Thanks for another perspective view. Came to know the Buddhist principle related to law of attraction. Loads of thanks.
Reblogged this on words of wisdom.
We are recording a show Sunday Nov 24 on love , family and relationships from a Nichiren Buddhist perspective. If anyone would like to join us, just contact James at [email protected]
Dear James, all the best for your show. What time will it be available to listen to? David
Reblogged this on SGI Buddhism for Peace, Culture and Education by Alma.
grazie !! thank you ! Merci ! Mucias gracias ! Danke
Easy to understand and digest. Fabulous.
Thank you for your kind words 🙂
Reblogged this on Michelle Kelly and commented:
Some great thoughts from a fellow Buddhist on how to create real romance…
I came across your blog through ‘Endless Light and Love’ and was happy to read this article today. On my own spiritual journey and in the light of a new relationship, I’ve had some instances where I’m a bit uncertain of things, and reading this here helped to solidify how content I truly feel. Common minds try to look for their ‘other half’, someone to complete them, to finally make them happy, and these relationships have extremes of highs and lows that I have not encountered in my current relationship. The lack of lows is fine, but sometimes the lack of extreme highs leaves one wanting: until I realize that dissatisfaction in itself points to an issue within myself (often a momentary lapse in complete self-love)… Extreme highs do not exist without the opposite, so I am enjoying finding peace in a balanced, healthy relationship. Thank you for your refreshing perspective.
yes it can be a long lesson to realise that worshipping another person rather than your own inner Buddhahood leads to unhappiness. Well done on your healthy relationship, may its joy ripple out to all around you and beyond. Dx
Thanks for sharing such a awesome guidance.:-)
My pleasure and thank you for your kind words 🙂 D
Love it! thats so true!
Dats a lovely piece of guidance David! Thnk u soooo much 🙂
Thank you very much for those very clear and simple explanations. It took me some time to thank the spoon! ” the famous spoon “. Now I search for the spoon all the time… We truly need talent like you who can simply implement and express ND teaching in everyday life in such a way! Thank you so much David!!!
many thanks for those kind words and yes, the reason why I started writing this blog / book was because I wanted to explain ND Buddhism in a more accessible and everyday way, inspired by the famous non-Buddhist self-help authors of this world as well as by the gosho and Sensei’s guidance. I hope I have succeeded and that the book will bring hundreds more people across the world to discover the wondrous Mystic Law. Thanks again, all best wishes,
Thanks for beautifully providing insight to the various day to day issues of life on the line of Sensei’s guidance .
The checkpoints you have given for marriage/ relationship are worth pondering .
Marriage is like a couple dance on the tune of life ; it’s always about the balancing and synchronisation else both will topple .
My pleasure Vandana and thank you for those very kind words. I have learned everything I know about life from Sensei ???. Warm wishes, David
Thanks for sharing this valuable guidances.i was having some complexes in my married life but i think i am able to resolve it.
Thank you for contexualizing this from Nichiren Buddhism point of view. Truly one must endeavour to polish themselves before outwardly seeking acceptance. Well written.
Can we chant for person’s love?
Hi Bhavika, you can chant for whatever you want in this Buddhism, all desires are a valid starting point. So, give it a go and see what happens!
Thanks a ton for such amazing guidance