Most of us think of the Buddha as a celibate monk, sitting detached from the rest of the world. But the Buddha did not start off as the Buddha. He was Siddhartha Gautama, the heir to a vast kingdom. And this prince had all the traits and qualities of someone we would define as successful, charismatic, and powerful in the world. And he was married to the most beautiful woman in the kingdom with whom he shared a child.
For a time, Siddhartha forsake his family and his position. He embarked on a journey to understand the nature of birth, sickness, old age, and death. Even in his position of privilege, none even these facts of life could be ignored. And he could feel that there was a deeper purpose to life than just ignoring or trying to escape these facts. Deep down, he could feel the potential of awakening. he could feel that there was a "basic goodness" or "loving nature" that somehow needs to be aroused in daily life.
At first he became a religious ascetic, but learned that giving everything away was just as dissatisfying as having everything one wanted.
Eventually, he awakened to a state of being free from Three Poisons of ignorance, attachment, and aggression. He became known as the Buddha, the awakened one. And he taught a life based on what came to what became known as The Middle Way. And although there was the monastic path one could follow, the Buddha's teachings also embraced householders and families. In the end, in fact, his wife and son rejoined him and learned from him.
Based on his own study of Tantric Buddhism, his personal experience in his 33 years of marriage to Melanie, and as a counselor, Robert offers guidance and reflections on all aspects of intimate, committed relationships. From how to become more conscious in selecting a partner to how to deal with anger, infidelity, even making more sensual and fulfilling one's sexual relationship, The Passionate Buddha will change how you see intimacy and enduring love - whether you are looking for or are committed in a relationship already. (Available in French and Chinese editions.)
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