in buddhism

Four Noble Truths of Relationships

Today I listened to an amazing first podcast from Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project called The Dharma of Love_ A Buddhist View of Relationships. A fun listen on a serious topic most of us deal with every day.

The main focus of the podcast was on her Four Noble Truths of Relationships, based on the Four Noble Truths found in Buddhism. All are so true, especially if you’ve been in a long-term relationship_

  1. Relationships are uncomfortable.
    Relationships are messy and challenging. There are blissful moments, but also perpetual irritation.
  2. Trying to make it comfortable is what makes it uncomfortable.
    Struggling against #1 is what causes problems. Relationships never stabilize. Some problems are deal breakers, but there will always be new problems. There is never smooth sailing in life — it’s the endless cycle of good and “I don’t think this will work out.”
  3. Meeting the discomfort together is love.
    The best we can hope for is not someone who we feel enraptured by all the time, but someone who will ride these waves with us.
  4. There is a way to work with it all.
    Within this are three qualities you can bring to your relationships_
    – Good manners: be precise with your words and actions. Be mindful of the other’s presence.
    – Openness: what does the other person need to feel loved? Drop your view of what correct love feels like.
    Letting go_ drop preconceived notions_ “they are always like that,” You need to be willing to let go of all that has come before to be with what is now.

She summed it all up by saying ‘all relationships are a path and these four truths and three qualities are all you need to open your heart.’ I agree.

I can relate to all of this in the 16 years with my wife, especially the amount of growing and discovery we’ve done over the last few years as we adjust to life with kids and work toward making our relationship better during this stage of our life (and moving forward.) Looking back over these last few years, I can see how these four noble truths have become the theme of our relationship and I am certainly glad they are now the base we build off each day.

Definitely check the podcast out for more! I think it clocks in around 35 minutes, so it’s not a big time investment. I certainly look forward to hearing more from Susan in the coming months.