quite different this week. In many ways, Lovely Love (ISBN
978-981-08-0044-4, Tawandhamma Foundation, 2008) and written by a Buddhist
monk Luang Phaw Dhammajayo, comes under the heading of ‘self-help’ books,
not one of my favorite genres for reading, or review.
It was given to me by my wife, who thought I might find it interesting, so
despite misgivings I began reading. There are five chapters entitled Love,
Relationships and Love, Relationships for a Lasting Love, A Peaceful Family
and finally, the Ultimate Love.
The major point that he makes in the book is: “Before we can love anyone, we
need to love ourselves first. Loving oneself and being selfish are two
separate and distinct things.” He then goes on to explain this in depth, and
expounds on meditation as a method of attaining inner peace. And whilst
leaning towards the Buddhist precepts, an understanding is enough.
There is a glossary at the end of the book to explain some of the terms for
the non-Buddhist, and a list of their meditation societies world-wide.
I thought it was very interesting when I came across a quote attributed to
the movie star Brad Pitt, referring to his wife Angelina Jolie, with whom he
had been going through some less than harmonious times. Brad Pitt wrote, “I
lost hope and thought that we’ll get divorced soon… But then I decided to
act on it. After all I’ve got the most beautiful woman on the earth. She is
the ideal of more than half of men and women on earth, and I was the one
allowed to fall asleep next to her and to hug her shoulders. I began to
pepper her with flowers, kisses and complements. I surprised her and pleased
every minute. I gave her lots of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in
public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised
her in front of her own and our mutual friends. You won’t believe, but she
has blossomed. She became even better than before. She gained weight, was no
longer nervous and she loved me even more than ever. I had no clue that she
CAN love that much.”
The methods Pitt used were those as advocated by Luang Phaw Dhammajayo, so
if you need a testimonial, there is one. The monk is the Abbot of Wat Phra
Dhammakaya, and can be seen on the DMC channel on TV.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, ‘self-help’ is not a group I
would normally recommend, but this book is different. It is short, readable,
not repetitive with ‘magic mantras’ to be muttered into the mirror, and very
practical. I found it interesting that a monk would have such a good
understanding of human relationships, but reading his own bio, he has been a
decorated worker in the field of universal ‘peace’, through examination of
one’s inner self, and “love” is part of understanding one’s own self.
The book costs around B. 420 and is available on mail order through the
Print Lodge (Singapore), but I suggest email [email protected] com.sg