The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Aloneness and loneliness

You are not alone

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You are not alone because all the time there are numberless buddhas and bodhisattvas surrounding you, everywhere loving you, guiding you, that is what they do.

– Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Loneliness is the illness of our time

Excerpt from:

Source: What 5 Great Spiritual Leaders Have to Say About the Deadly Sickness of Loneliness – Waking Times

July 21, 2017

Thich Nhat Hanh

Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, also the author of many books including You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment, gives us perhaps the most thorough assessment of the roots of loneliness. He discusses the idea that we must come home to ourselves to find peace and happiness.

Once we are home, we no longer feel lonely. Home is a place where loneliness is happiness. But where is home? It is within the self, it is an island, a place inside ourselves where we must return to in order to be happy. Many of us have forgotten how to take this place with us in our day to day lives, and as such we drift further away away with each communication. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Furthermore, he offers an explanation as to why technological connection and being part of a group does not always alleviate the sense of loneliness. We are disconnected with ourselves.

Loneliness is the ill being of our time. We feel very lonely. Even if we are surrounded by many people. We are lonely together. And there is a vacuum inside of us and we do not feel comfortable with that kind of vacuum, so we try to fill it up by connecting with other people. We believe that when we connect with other people that feeling of loneliness will disappear. And technology supplies us with a lot of devices in order to connect. Stay connected. We always stay connected but we continue to feel lonely.

We use technology to try and dissipate that feeling of loneliness but we have not succeeded.

In our daily life we are disconnected with ourselves. We walk, but we do not know that we are walking. We are there, but we do not know that we are there. We are alive, but we do not know that we are alive. We are losing ourselves, we are not ourselves.

How can you connect with another person when you cannot connect with yourself? ~Thich Nhat Hanh

When you are lonely or in darkness

I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being.


 Tao & Zen.

One day of silence

Tao & Zen

Inspiring Elephant Orphan Story

Tao & Zen

 “Daphne Sheldrick has dedicated her life to raising orphaned elephants. Once they are old enough, they are taken to protected areas and integrated with other orphan groups. When Daphne visits, the elephants gather around her for a hug.”~Rob Gerardi
“To be a baby elephant must be wonderful. Surrounded by a loving family 24 hours a day. Touched by the family, cuddled and comforted. A tremendous love and compassion exuded by every family member. I think it must be how it ought to be, in a perfect world.”~Daphne Sheldrick
Elephant Orphans… Wisdom of the Wild

You are never alone

sky bud

“You are never alone because all the time there are numberless buddhas and bodhisattvas surrounding you, everywhere loving you, guiding you. That is what they do.”

Lama Zopa Rimpoche

It’s beautiful to be alone

Medicine Buddha Mantra

May all sentient beings who hear this magical song obtain some relief from the suffering that permeates this dimension.

▶ Medicine Buddha Mantra with words – YouTube.


The Medicine Buddha: The Meaning and Symbolism of The Healing Buddha | Buddhaful Living.

The Meaning Behind the Medicine Buddha

The Medicine Buddha – The Meaning, Teachings, Mantra & Empowerment

“If one meditates on the Medicine Buddha, one will eventually attain enlightenment, but in the meantime one will experience an increase in healing powers both for oneself and others and a decrease in physical and mental illness and suffering.” Lama Tashi Namgyal

The Healing Buddha or Medicine Buddha is usually referred to as the doctor of the world. Not only is the Healing Buddha the granter of wishes for perfect health, the Medicine Buddha path of light is one that leads the practitioner to enlightenment.

The Medicine Buddha was the first Buddha statue I ever owned. It was a gift to me. I had become extremely ill and had just spent three months in the hospital.

One of my dearest friends gifted me the Medicine Buddha statue. A gift that I treasure to this day.

In this article we’ll look at:

The Meaning Behind the Medicine Buddha

Medicine Buddha

Every depiction of the Buddha has significance and meaning. Each hand gesture, posture and in the Medicine Buddha’s case even color has deep psychological inferences.

Why is the Medicine Buddha blue?

The deep blue that the Medicine Buddha is normally portrayed in wasn’t done so at random. It ties back a master healing stone – Lapis Lazuli.

For more than six thousand years this stone has been honored and cherished as the most precious of stones. Valued even more than the diamond or gold.

It may be because of how hard it is to obtain. Primarily mined in the Badakshan region of northeast Afghanistan, which is pretty much an inaccessible area located behind the Hindu Kush.

This deep blue is usually associated with the brow chakra. The main attributes of the brow chakra are discernment, clarity, vision and seeing beyond illusion,

What is the plant that the Medicine Buddha is holding?

The plant that the Medicine Buddha is holding is the myrobalan fruit. This plant represent all of the best medicines in the world.

What does the Medicine Buddha’s hand gestures mean?

The Medicine Buddha’s right hand gesture represents and symbolizes the eradication of suffering. Especially the suffering of sickness using the means of relative truth.

The Medicine Buddha’s left hand gesture – resting in his lap, palm upward symbolizes meditative stability or meditation as a whole. Meditation is is looked upon as a tool to aid in the eradication of sickness and suffering. How? By digging deep into the very roots of samsara. This will lead the practitioner to the realization of absolute truth.

Continue with article:

The Medicine Buddha: The Meaning and Symbolism of The Healing Buddha | Buddhaful Living.

On Solitude


” I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will. Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows.

The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge College is as solitary as a dervish in the desert. The farmer can work alone in the field or the woods all day, hoeing or chopping, and not feel lonesome, because he is employed; but when he comes home at night he cannot sit down in a room alone, at the mercy of his thoughts, but must be where he can “see the folks,” and recreate, and as he thinks remunerate himself for his day’s solitude; and hence he wonders how the student can sit alone in the house all night and most of the day without ennui and “the blues”; but he does not realize that the student, though in the house, is still at work in his field, and chopping in his woods, as the farmer in his, and in turn seeks the same recreation and society that the latter does, though it may be a more condensed form of it.”

Walden Pond – Henry David Thoreau

Tao & Zen Community Forum

Thich Nhat Hanh on World Suffering (11:37)

▶ World Suffering – YouTube.

How can I fight the injustices of this world without being consumed with anger,
bitterness, outrage and resentment?

“You are motivated by the desire to do something to help the world suffer less. But to do is just one of the things you can do. To be is another way of doing. If you can be relaxed, if you can be peaceful, if you can be compassionate – that is a lot of action already.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Can you allow the mind to be quiet? Alan Watts (3:57)

The Mind – Alan Watts – YouTube.

Sounds of the Clouds (09:35)

▶ Sounds of the Clouds – YouTube.

“Let the world call you lazy for not running about like a frightened ghost. Just be quiet inside yourself. Don’t bother about knowing how things should be and simply begin observing without prejudice, projections or desires. Notice how life flows of its own accord. Nothing here is a chaos, but a harmony. You are already inside this flow.”

~ Mooji

Tao & Zen

Thich Nhat Hanh “Walking on the Earth” (04:03)

▶ Thich Nhat Hanh “Walking on the Earth” – YouTube.

Thich Nhat Hanh: How do I stay in the present moment when it feels unbearable?

Discovering oneself


Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.

~ Ramana Maharshi

We are not living in the present

“Human beings are so unbelievably stupid, that they confuse money with wealth. And they don’t realize that money is a measure of wealth, in exactly the same way that meters are a measure of length. They think it is something that is valuable in and of itself. And as a result of that get into unbelievable trouble.

In exactly the same way time is nothing but an abstract measure of motion. And we keep counting time. We have the sensation time is running out, and we bug ourselves with this. And as we sit and watch the clock, supposing you are working, are you watching the clock? If you are, what are you waiting for. Time off. Five o’clock. We can go home and have fun. Yeah, fun.

What are you going to do when you get home? Have fun? Or are you going to watch TV, which is an electronic reproduction of life which doesn’t even smell of anything. And eat a TV dinner which is a kind of a warmed over airline nastiness until you just get tired and have to go to sleep. You know, the great society.

This is our problem, you see. We are not alive, we are not awake. We are not living in the present.”

~Alan Watts~

The silence in us

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing .”

~ Rachel Naomi Remen ~

The essence of your mind is not born

A Letter to a Dying Man

Bassui wrote the following letter to
one of his disciples who was about to die:

The essence of your mind is not born, so it will never die.
It is not an existence, which is perishable.
It is not an emptiness, which is a mere void.
It has neither color nor form.
It enjoys no pleasures and suffers no pains.

I know you are very ill.
Like a good Zen student,
you are facing that sickness squarely.

You may not know exactly who is suffering,
but question yourself:
What is the essence of this mind?

Think only of this.
You will need no more.
Covet nothing.

Your end which is endless is as a snowflake
dissolving in the pure air.

The only person who can cause us to suffer

It’s coming to grips with the fact that
the only person who can cause us to suffer,
who can cause us to misperceive illusion and separation,
who has this much power, is ourselves.

Nothing in the exterior environment causes us
to lose a sense of the awakened state.

Nobody we meet, no situation we deal with
has the power to cause us to fall out of awakening.

It is one of the most important realizations we can make.
It’s all an inside job.
It’s all something we do to ourselves—
mistakenly, unknowingly,
and often times unconsciously.

~ Adyashanti ~

A Mystic is …

A mystic is someone who directly
communicates with universal intelligence,
without an intermediary.Almost all mystics developed this ability
in conditions of solitude.But they are never really alone.
They are always in the presence of
the living earth.

~~Robert Coon

Face your suffering

May you have the strength and courage
not only to face your suffering,
but to also embrace the opportunities for love,
laughter and compassion that are near you every day.

Jack Kornfield

photo: mikemccaffrey – flickr

Aloneness and Loneliness

Aloneness and loneliness | Great Middle Way.

With thanks to

December 17, 2012


Being alone can be wonderful, but not if we feel lonely. Especially during the holidays, we can feel isolated and unloved, ignored and unimportant. It can feel as if the flow of social intercourse has passed us by —or worse, as if we were drowning in a river of purposeless time.Being alone may be a situational fact, but feeling lonely is always an afflicted emotion. Loneliness is an interpretation, a conceptual proliferation based on a given experience. It is the elaboration of the meaning we impose on our present circumstance.

Habituated to the idea of ourselves as central and the creatures of our universe as bound to that centrality, it is difficult to accept that the worlds (the persons and objects) of our solar system can pull away from our gravity —to see their orbits expand, distort, and ultimately migrate to other solar systems.

We interpret this natural migration of loved ones to other relationships or locations as abandonment. We may feel resentment at their real or apparent ingratitude. Or we may turn that resentment against ourselves, feeling shame at our inability to ‘hold’ our relations in orbit, or blaming ourselves for pushing them away.

The Buddha taught: “All that live must surely die, and all that meet must part.” One way or another —through choosing different paths or the finality of death— all whom we know and treasure will leave our lives, or we shall leave theirs. Resentment, shame, and blame are not reasonable or adequate responses to reality. Aloneness is a blessing. Loneliness is a self-inflicted curse.

Human beings —and especially those with spiritual inclinations— pass through four life stages: learning, production, withdrawal, and transcendence. All of these stages have their joys and sorrows, their challenges and rewards. They have their place and time.

Aloneness, solitude, is an essential component of the third stage of life. Without solitude, we cannot begin the process of deep introspection that will allow us to recognize reality as it is, and prepare to make a peaceful transition out of this world of suffering. If we remain immersed in the busy-ness and drama of relationships, we will be prevented from contemplating our own mortality, and we will fail to prepare for the next stage of our experience.

Not everyone is suited for the same degree of solitude. If we require company, then we must reach out to others. If family is not near, available, or so inclined, then we can seek out friends and persons in our own life-stage, with similar values and spiritual interests. If we have no such friends, and company is important to us, then we must find them. They exist. We may have to search high and low, but find them we will. Lamenting our loneliness will not help.

However, when and if we find such company, we should be careful not to re-create patterns of a previous life-stage with our spiritual friends. We are walking forward together as we withdraw from the drama of duality, not reverting to a stage that is no longer possible or desirable.

Even as young lovers seek to be alone together, away from all others, cherishing their intimacy, it is now time for us to seek the company of our inner light, our Buddha Nature, whose permanent presence we have long ignored, but has never abandoned us —our kind parent, our faithful lover, our filial child, our true friend.

It is time to cherish that intimacy, without the noise and distraction of the crowds.

om amideva hrih