Zen in the art of loneliness

Trip Start Aug 21, 2004
Trip End Mar 03, 2005

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

It's seems funny to me that in my head loneliness and emptiness were always two inseparable emotions. They had a symbiotic relationship of sorts, much like those water buffalo with birds on their backs in the plains of the Serengeti. It is only by exploring loneliness (something we usually don't do by choice) that I've finally been able to see such a separation between being lonely and being empty. When one is lonely, there are many different ways to deal with the matter. Sometimes we sit alone in our apartments and lament and pout; we might put on a Jeff Buckley CD, drink a bottle of wine (alone), eat a carton of Ben & Jerry's or just simply cry. It 's quite easy to be lonely in this matter. Bury yourself deep inside your introspection and forget that you are loved, that you are clothed and sheltered. It's very easy to be so selfish and enveloped by this type of loneliness. This is the blueprint that most of my lonely moments in life have followed. I'd always think "I'm so empty, it's so lonely". I'm not a "depressed" person. I'm lucky not to have encountered that particular darkness too often in my life. Being lonely, yet being in the company of others whom with you cannot share these feelings, has brought a whole new meaning to the word "lonely". It is a loneliness I have rarely felt before, but it has put into light many of the lonely moments in my past. It is devoid of emptiness. All along I was wrong. This loneliness is so bountiful, it can be so filling. I am not empty, not even close. I am so full. Loneliness bubbles out of every pour in my being. Every exhale exudes droplets of this emotion. Every breath a further reminder of how full I am. When in one's life can we say we are so full? Usually this space is reserved for our more pleasant experiences. We are full of "life" or "joy" or "ecstasy". But loneliness can be equally filling. It is powerful too, because it commands your attention whether you are willing to give it or not. No amount of meditation or book reading or listening to music can release you from its grasp. You simply need to embrace it. That's the only solution I can give now, the only panacea from my plateau of loneliness. Perhaps you have any other offerings?
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