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Change the Mind and Be Free

Transforming Loneliness

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Dear Friends,

Most of the e-mails and phone calls we get from people are to do with emotions – heavy, distressing, sometimes mind-shrieking emotions. After taking in the story for a while we might write or say something along these lines:

I know it seems like all this is a cruel cosmic joke. You’ve done your best to live a good life, work hard and be kind to people, and this is the reward you get. These terrible emotions that plague you, that bring you to your knees and break your confidence and will to live, each one of them is like a powerful wind pounding into the sails of your mind.

But if we were out sailing and the wind was blowing from the south, we are not compelled to be blown onto the rocks just north of us – no, we would change the set of our sails. We can even sail into the wind, by tacking one way and then another.

Our mind is like the sails of the boat, and our emotions are like the wind. The same emotional energy can open the heart or close it, depending upon what we think. When unhappiness comes, we need to let go of our ‘incorrect’ thoughts and replace them with ‘true’ ones.

Usually we go on to explain to the person how they can change their thinking towards what is commonly called the ‘Universal Truth’.  Let’s take the example of loneliness: how can we change our thinking so that we never feel lonely again?

Of course we all know that trying to always be with people is like getting onto a treadmill that never stops – at some point life will arrange for us to be alone with just ourselves.  So the feeling of loneliness is telling us that we have yet to learn how to be happy and content with our own company.

Some lonely people will admit, “I don’t really like myself.”  Herein lies one form of incorrect thinking.  How can we not like that which is beautiful, loving, perfect and magnificent?  For this surely is what we all are.  Such is the teachings of all of the great Masters: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed and so on.  Yes, we are all exquisite beings who have forgotten our true nature.  We are like diamonds covered in mud, caught up in thinking that we are the mud.  So what if we do have this or that bad habit, or we are not popular, or we’re unmarried or stuck in a low income bracket?  This is all just the mud; inside is the diamond, that’s who we really are.

For others, the feeling of loneliness is like a deep hunger to feel connected with others.  They might even feel good about themselves most of the time, but there is this sense of isolation, as if they are painfully aware that each one of these human bodies is a separate entity who can never be truly joined with another.  When such is the case a more philosophical reasoning is required – what is often called ‘Jnana Yoga’, or union through following the path of wisdom.  This is how it goes:

To begin with, when we break up the word ‘aloneness’ into three parts we have ‘all-one-ness’. That is, our feeling of aloneness is trying to tell us that our present belief that we are all separate, is not correct.  The truth is that we are all ‘one’.  To explain:

Consider a wave on the ocean.  It seems to be separate from all of the other waves; but it’s not, because all of the waves are part of the one ocean.  Does the ocean stop being the ocean when it is a wave?  No, of course not; and if a wave could think, it would know that it was just part of the moving shape of the one ocean, as is every other wave, and it would never feel lonely.

Well, in the same way, we are all waves of energy on the one vast, limitless ocean of basic energy.  Everything is a wave – people, trees, dogs, clouds, planets and so on. Any nuclear physicist would agree with that. They’d say, “We only seem to be separate.”  So, how can we be alone?  There are no ‘other’ people to be separate from; we are all connected; we are all One.

Now that’s a lot to get our head around straight off.  But we can take it on faith.  All of the great spiritual Masters taught this same message, and for the past few decades nuclear physics has been confirming it.

But, even accepting that we are never ‘alone’, what can we do about our feelings of loneliness?  Well, this vast limitless ocean of energy is, in fact, Love – pure love, unselfish love, love that has no expectations, a quality of love that beams out to everyone to the same degree regardless of who they are.  To swim in this ocean of Love, we need to begin doing kind things for more and more people, more of the time – a smile here, a phone-call there, a helping hand, an understanding ear, a thoughtful card.

A friend of ours, now in her eighties, has a list of over one hundred people that she phones and sends notes to with sweet words of upliftment and love, and perhaps another one hundred she prays for. We’ve been with her in a car while driving past a road accident, with police and ambulance attending, and she immediately voices a prayer for the victims and their families and loved ones.  Yes, you’ve guessed it: she is never lonely, even though she lives by herself since her identical twin sister passed away.

If prayer is not your thing, nor writing letters or making phone calls, you could try a visualisation where you imagine love or light pouring into you, and then you send it out to this person and that, to more and more people all over the world.

Loving others, engaging in ‘random acts of kindness’, praying or visualising; these are all ways of jumping into that limitless, all-connecting ocean of Love, that ocean of Oneness.  And each time we jump in, the loneliness reduces, until it is just like the memory of a bad dream.  If the feeling of loneliness does ever come again, you’ll know it’s time to increase the flow of love, at first through you, and then out to others.

Before concluding this part we’d like to offer just one more thing for deeper reflection.  It goes like this:

            Develop the consciousness that you are in everything, and the feeling of oneness that everything is in you.

Now, if you’d like a little practice in transforming ‘loneliness’ into our inborn feelings of unity, love and joy, scroll on down to ‘Practice’.

 

With love,
Ron and Su Farmer

Practice

Transforming Loneliness

The following self help techniques for loneliness are just some of the ways we can use a negative emotion as a doorway to increased peace and happiness, just by changing the way we think.  Each approach is explained briefly, so you can begin experimenting with it in your own way

The Practice

  •  Practise repeating silently, many times a day, in any situation, the following words while observing the breath:
     “I breathe in love, I breathe out love. I breathe in love, I breathe out love.”

          You can do it in the morning, in the evening, while driving or washing-up, as often as you can remember to do so.

After a few days, start doing it while looking into your own eyes in a mirror.

    • Note: There are similar techniques to this on the Self Help Therapy CDs, ‘Healing through Grief, Loss and Death’.
  • Begin doing ‘random acts of kindness’ – phoning, writing to or visiting a lonely or depressed person, giving them the feeling that they are lovable people; paying the toll for the person in the car behind you; smiling at people, greeting them, wishing them a great day, complimenting them, telling them they look great; do this more and more.
    • Note: There are more ideas like this on the Self Help Therapy CD, ‘Overcoming Depression’.
  • Repeat these words frequently and imagine that it is describing something happening to you: “When the bubble bursts, it knows itself to be the entire ocean.”  That is, each time you say the words, begin with imagining that you are a bubble of water sitting on the surface of a vast, limitless ocean; then imagine bursting and no longer having physical boundaries, so that you experience yourself as being the entire ocean.
    • Note: There are similar techniques on the Self Help Therapy CDs, ‘Self-Esteem’.
  • Imagine a cool, healing flame burning inside your chest. It burns brighter and brighter, filling your whole body with light; next, imagine a beam of light shining out from your chest, directing it to someone and filling them with light; and then send beams of light to more and more people until everyone in the world is filled with light. Now remind yourself, ‘This light is Love.’
    • Note: A complete version of the Flame Meditation is on the Self Help Therapy CD, ‘Simple Meditation.

The feeling of loneliness, like all disturbing emotions, is an opportunity to expand our heart and embrace all of humanity. When we look at Nature we see that every shadow is pointing towards a light, a light that has been blocked. Our loneliness is but a shadow. A shadow is simply as absence of light. Loneliness is the absence of the feeling of unity, of all-one-ness. We hope and pray that, with practice and perseverance, all of us will soon experience being a ‘living cell’ in the one body of humanity.

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