Loneliness is the bane of our time. We feel lonely even when we are surrounded by many people. There is a vacuum inside us that we don’t feel comfortable with so we try to fill it by connecting with other people. We believe that by doing so, the feeling of loneliness will disappear. Technology supplies us with a lot of devices to stay connected but we continue to feel lonely.
We check email several times a day, we post messages, we want to share, receive, get busy the whole day in order to connect. Our relationship is not good with our partners, our brothers, sisters, parents, and with society. We feel very lonely and try to use technology to dissipate that loneliness. But we have not succeeded because we are disconnected from ourselves.
We walk and we don’t know that we are walking. We are there but we do not know we are there. We are alive but we do not know that we are alive. We are losing ourselves; we are not ourselves. And that is happening all day long. In the Plum Village tradition, every time we sit down on our cushion, we do so in order to connect with ourselves. The act of sitting down is an act of revolution. You sit down and you cut off that state of losing yourself. When you sit down you connect with yourself. You don’t need an iPhone or computer to do that. You just need to sit down mindfully, breathe in mindfully and in a few seconds you connect with yourself.
You know what is going on – in your body, your feelings, emotions, what is going on in your perceptions and so on. You are home and ready to take care of what’s going on there. You have left home for a long time and going home is to connect with yourself, and to accept what there is. It is a mess, yes, but accept the mess. Because you have been away from home for so long, it is a mess but now you can rearrange things.
With your in-breath and out-breath you can begin to smile at everything and release the tension. Now you are ready to tidy up. And the Buddha has told us how we can do it: how to breathe in and out and release the tension within the body, to become aware of feelings and smile to the feelings of loneliness and fear. You say: “My dear loneliness, I know you are there, I am home to take care of you.” And you make peace with your loneliness and fear.
There is a wounded child in you, you recognise him and embrace him tenderly in your arms. That is the act of going home and taking care of home. Every step you take, whether you are breathing in or out, you go back to your home. Home to the here and now, so you can connect with yourself – your body, your feelings – that is the real connection and you don’t need any technology to do that. This is the way to heal ourselves and our society – the teaching of the Buddha about going home to the island of the self. Not technology that gives us the illusion that we can connect with others. For, how can we connect with others when we cannot connect with ourselves?
The views expressed in the Article above are Author’s personal views and kashmiribhatta.in is not responsible for the opinions expressed in the above article
Courtesy:Times Of India,S.T ,May 20 ,2019