What we call love is really a whole spectrum of relating, reaching from the earth to the sky. At the most earthy level, love is sexual attraction. Many of us remain stuck there, because our conditioning has burdened our sexuality with all kinds of expectations and repressions. Actually the biggest "problem" with sexual love is that it never lasts. Only if we accept this fact can we then really celebrate it for what it is - welcome its happening, and say goodbye with gratitude when it's not.
Then, as we mature, we can begin to experience the love that exists beyond sexuality and honours the unique individuality of the other. We begin the understand that our partner often functions as a mirror, reflecting unseen aspects of our deeper self and supporting us to become whole.
This love is based in freedom, not expectation or need. Its wings take us higher and higher towards the universal love that experiences all as one.
These three things are to be taken note of: the lowest love is sex - it is physical - and the highest refinement of love is compassion. Sex is below love, compassion is above love; love is exactly in the middle.
Very few people know what love is. Ninety-nine percent of people, unfortunately, think sexuality is love - it is not. Sexuality is very animal; it certainly has the potential of growing into love, but it is not actual love, only a potential...
If you become aware and alert, meditative, then sex can be transformed into love. And if your meditativeness becomes total, absolute, love can be transformed into compassion. Sex is the seed, love is the flower, compassion is the fragrance.
Buddha has defined compassion as love plus meditation. When your love is not just a desire for the other, when your love is not only a need, when your love is a sharing, when your love is not that of a beggar but an emperor, when your love is not asking for something in return but is ready only to give - to give for the sheer joy of giving - then add meditation to it and the pure fragrance is released. That is compassion; compassion is the highest phenomenon.