Marc Gafni (from his 2008 dialogue with the Dalai Lama):
To love someone is to see them with God’s eyes, to perceive them at their highest place, like — as His Holiness said — the mother who sees the baby. The mother, no matter what the baby does when older, always sees the baby as divine. Therefore we call God in Hebrew mysticism, Kabbalah, the divine breast of the Mother who feeds us all.
So we are all, like God, trying to see Other with God’s eyes. So to love is to see with God’s eyes, not an emotion, but a perception. … That’s our basic idea. So we say we can train people to love. Because if love is an emotion, we can’t train an emotion. But we can train a perception. We can train people to see.
So good Hebrew teaching is to train people to see… and to give… The Hebrew word for “love” also means “to give” and “ecstasy”… Ecstatic emotion that comes from giving. In Hebrew tradition, I first give, and if I give, I love. That’s just a gentle wisdom from Jerusalem to Tibet. Thank you so much for your wisdom on loving…
Note: This post originally appeared on Marc Gafni’s Tumblr page.