Have You Ever Said Or Heard “I Love You”? — A Zen Master Explains What It REALLY Means

The phrase which seals a relationship, which is sort of a prerequisite for taking things to the next level is ‘I love You’. Though it is never mentioned outrightly, but somehow everyone knows that it is required at some point in your relationship if you are serious enough and ready for the commitment it will bring.

In fact even when a person has said these three Words, their meaning and intention is almost always questioned. Different people would have different reasons for saying the same. But according to Zen Master Thich Nhat Han, the concept of love is quite different to what we have come to think of it as.

At the base of it love means being together, being one. But the ‘I’ itself goes against the idea of being one, it reinforces the self, and there can be no self left in true love. When we say I Love You, we are again concentrating on the self, the self which is doing the loving and not on the loving itself.

The idea of love is complete understanding among the two people involved. This understanding is so great that they know and comprehend each other’s thoughts and emotions so much that they feel the same. If one of them is suffering emotionally, the other too would be able to feel that suffering. They would be like one being. This is where the idea of becoming one in love comes from.

Even this idea of self is pretty misguided on its own. What we think of as our self, is not a unique entity. We are made of many smaller things. There is no one ‘I’. If we start taking out all the things that are not strictly us from our persona, we would be left with nothing at all.

We are made up of all the occurrences and meetings that we ever had in our life, our parents, our ancestors, the different friends and partners we’ve had. All of them lend something of themselves when we come in contact with them and make us who we are.

True love is when there is no distinction, no boundary left. 

● Only when two people have reached supreme understanding, so much so that they can feel what the other feels, they can be said to have found love. The one is the other and vice versa.

When the suffering of one person is influenced by the other’s understanding of the suffering. Neither suffering nor happiness remains a matter of a particular individual. Everything is experienced by both as if one. So if you think you have found the one, and you want to make your declaration of love; maybe think once again.

Would saying the three words be enough? Not when you now know what it really means to love someone and be loved by them. Instead of loving them how you think one should be loved- pampering, dates or whatnot, pay more attention to their thoughts and feelings in a bid to understand them better.