Interconnectedness

Frans Stiene Articles, English 1 Comment

I often hear it said that we need to connect to each other or that we need to connect to nature or an animal. This is all well and good – connection is essential in our lives – but what am I really saying when I say, “I need to connect to…” you, or this, or that?

When I say, “I need to connect to…” (to anything, really), what I am really saying is that I feel disconnected.

Why do we feel disconnected? This of course is an inner feeling deep inside our own mind. And the feelings in our mind can influence the feelings in our heart. We feel disconnected from others because we don’t feel connected to ourselves.

When we look at the essence of ourselves we start to see that we are always interconnected with everything; hence there is no need to connect!

Instead we simply need to remember that we are interconnected already. (Oftentimes not so simple to do.)

The Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh points this out so wonderfully with the word “interbeing”: a being who feels interconnected with others.

The more we use the words, I need to connect to this or that person or animal or nature, the more we saying to ourselves that we are not interconnected already. We are reaffirming our separateness. And by reaffirming our separateness we never will start to see that we always have been and always will be interconnected with all that is. And the more separate we feel the more anger and worry will manifest in our own confused mind.

This is why, when we talk about spiritual practices, we need to observe ourselves. Because by observing ourselves we can start to see where we are at in our own personal practice.

For example, if I constantly say to others that we need to connect etc., then that points out that I myself feel disconnected from my own self and therefore disconnected from others.

This in turn is a great discovery because now we can do something about this.

Now we can start to practice meditation practices so that we slowly begin to see that there is no need to connect at all; all we have to remember is that we are all interconnected already! But of course first we need to feel that deep interconnectedness within our own selves, else we might be all talk and no action. We might use the word interconnectedness but in fact deep down we know that we still feel disconnected from our own self.

So let’s take that action: let’s sit down on our meditation pillow, investigate and discover the underlying nature of our words and how we express them. Do we feel disconnected or do we feel interconnected with some or all that is around us? And remember the first step is this: do we feel disconnected or interconnected with ourselves?

Knowing how things really are is obviously the most important. If we are only aware of the way things seem to be, we will never understand what is actually the case. – Chokyi Nyima

And the more we practice our meditations, the more we uncover and discover our true selves, the more we can understand what is actually the case. Then we can more fully understand and feel the interconnectedness of all.

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