By reciting the blessed name of Avalokiteshvara three times, we will be free from fear. This practice works in all manner of situations, please use it as often as you like. OM MANE PADME HUM
“There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than having an enemy.
Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.”
Tao Te Ching verse 46
Translation by Stephen Mitchell
Photo©2012 by Flower’s.Lover
CC BY 2.0
The views in this post represent those of the author and not necessarily those of the creator of this photo
Differentiating between love and attachment can often be difficult. They are usually very mixed together, so pulling out the attachment from the love is a skill that needs to be practiced. Here is a comparison of the two, to help get some clarity.
Love is feeling like you already have what you need, attachment is wanting because you don’t have enough
Love is a feeling of peace and happiness, attachment is a feeling of being disturbed and agitated
Love is feeling happy right now, attachment is looking forward to something that will make you happy in the future
Love is a feeling of energetic connection between you and other people, attachment is a feeling of lack of a meaningful connection and wanting to have the connection
Love is a feeling of fullness and that you don’t need anymore, attachment is a feeling of emptiness and that you do need more
Love is focused on others, attachment is focused on yourself
You can have love for anyone and everyone, you can have attachment only for certain people
Love protects you, attachment harms you
Love makes you feel safe, attachment makes you feel afraid
Love last forever and leads to connection, attachment is short-lived and leads to loneliness and isolation
Love and attachment do have something in common – any person can have either one, no matter what religion, culture, beliefs, etc. We have a choice…
So choose love!
©2016 by Awakening Wisdom Light
Photo©2010 by Boris SV
CC BY-ND 2.0
What does it mean to be alone? It’s something that we have all felt, probably many times in our lives. Perhaps the most obvious type of loneliness is being physically separated from other people. But many people often feel alone even when surrounded by others. How can this be? There are people all around you, you’re talking with them, so how can you feel alone?
To understand this we need to get to the heart of what being alone really means. When we feel alone, what we’re really feeling is the sense of being inherently separate and uniquely different from other people. The next time you’re feeling alone, instead of just feeling all the terrible feelings that come along with it, be courageous and take a deeper look at what’s happening inside. You’ll notice that your sense of yourself is that you are very different from everyone else. Is it only you who are experiencing this, and your experience is completely unique. The experiences of all the other billions of people on the planet (which are actually happening at the same time as yours) have completely disappeared. There is 100% zoomed in focus on your own present experience. This is what gives the feeling or sense of being alone. If you’re so focused only on your own experience, how could you possibly be aware of anyone else’s?
But if during this moment of aloneness you were to recognize that the experience you’re having is exactly the same as many other people on the planet, then the focus on your own experience would lessen. You would realize, “Oh, there are other people who are actually feeling EXACTLY the same way I am RIGHT NOW.” Your sense of having a completely unique experience would diminish, because you realize your experience is not unique at all. This is actually incredibly liberating! It is such a relief to realize that you were not so unique or special after all. You realize that on the level of feelings (such as feeling alone), you’re not actually different from anyone else. And you see that the only thing that caused you to feel alone in the first place was your belief that you were actually different and unique from others. This brings great peace.
I’d like to share a personal experience of this. In my early 20s I started to experience very intense anxiety and panic attacks. So strong that if I would’ve gone to a psychiatrist, I could’ve easily have been put on medication. But somehow I knew that there had to be another way. During this time I found two things that helped: Jesus and his teachings (I’ll save that for another post), and Buddha and his teachings. Specifically for the context of this post, I found the Buddhist teachings on Love, or to put it more technically, ‘equalizing self with others.’ The teaching is just as I described above. You investigate through your own experience and come to realize that you and other people are actually not different at all on the deepest level. Only on the surface are we different, but deep down we all really have the same feelings and experiences.
One night I was having a particularly intense panic attack. If anyone has ever had a truly intense panic attack, then you will know the indescribable fear and terror that it brings. It seems that the entire world is disappearing and that you are actually dying. If feels like no one else could ever have been this afraid. How could you possibly reach out for help or talk to anyone about it? No one would possibly understand that level of fear. At least this is how I usually felt about what was happening. But this particular night a thought popped in my head, “Wait a minute, there’s other people who are actually feeling exactly the same way I am right now. What about them? I don’t want them to have to feel this!” And immediately all of my fear vanished, and I felt an incredibly deep sense of peace and relief.
I felt so lucky, as if I had discovered the secret of life! All you have to do is not think about yourself, and think about someone else instead, and you’re suffering disappears like magic! It’s literally like a scientific principle. It can be applied to any situation and it always works, as long as you do it sincerely.
So the next time you are feeling alone, or any other type of suffering, please give this a try. You’re life just might be transformed!