Loneliness is the illness of our time

Poignant words from Thich Nhat Hanh on loneliness.

Zen Flash

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 activistΒ 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…

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33 thoughts on “Loneliness is the illness of our time

  1. I believe this to be true. I grew up as an only child (both brothers are considerably older) with older parents. I learned how to entertain and amuse myself very early in life. I also knew what made me happy. Maybe it was my nature or maybe the circumstances but I find that I am very comfortable with myself. I am never lonely. If I want companionship, I seek it out but I also enjoy and treasure alone time. I don’t need anyone to make me happy.

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  2. Such an easily described philosophy yet so very hard for so many to follow. The journey inwards is the most mysterious and convoluted of them all! And so frequently commences from a realisation of being lost; of not knowing who one is!

    Sorry, what was the question again? πŸ€”

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  3. Beautiful post. One has to learn it with perseverance.
    Loneliness is a negative state of mind. Aloneness is positive, notwithstanding what the dictionaries say. In dictionaries, loneliness and aloneness are synonymous — they are synonyms; in life they are not. Loneliness is a state of mind when you are constantly missing the other, aloneness is the state of mind when you are constantly delighted in yourself. Loneliness is miserable, aloneness is blissful. Loneliness is always worried, missing something, hankering for something, desiring for something; aloneness is a deep fulfillment, not going out, tremendously content, happy, celebrating. In loneliness you are off center, in aloneness you are centered and rooted. Aloneness is beautiful. It has an elegance around it, a grace, a climate of tremendous satisfaction. Loneliness is; beggarly; all around it there is begging and nothing else. It has no grace around it. In fact it is ugly. Loneliness is a dependence, aloneness is SHEER independence. One feels as if one is one’s whole world, one’s whole existence.

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