The Difference between
Love and Attachment
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Malaysia February 25, 1992
(Originally in English)
Q: Sometimes I get confused about love and attachment. When you love a person, it becomes attachment. I understand that an attachment results in suffering, so sometimes I feel it's worthless to fall in love.
M: If you fear attachment, then don't love. If you love someone, you have to pay the price. Surely, love includes attachment too, whether we deny it or try to cover it with, "No, I'm not attached to him; I just love him." But this is also a kind of attachment; otherwise, why do you need to love him? You are attached to an object because you love that object. People can tell you to minimize your attachment to give each other more freedom and not to control each other, but just to love unconditionally and try to adjust to each other. That is love with minimized attachment, but not without attachment.
Anyhow, there are many kinds of love. Even the best kind of love in this world, which we say is between a mother and child, still has attachment. Who dares to take a mother's child away, harm or say something bad about her child even though she knows it is true? Her child is the best, better than all the neighbors', even though she knows it is not true. This is also attachment. She cannot leave her child; most can bear it, but not willingly.
Everything has attachment except when you love God. Then you love without attachment because there is nothing to be attached to. You don't gain what we gain materially as in this world. You just gain bliss, happiness and contentment. You cannot be attached to something when there is nothing there. The more you love God, the more relaxed and non-attached you become. But still you can love people in this world because your heart is large. A heart that is large can include anyone, even enemies; otherwise, it is difficult to love your enemy.