Alone, I’m moving restlessly around the apartment, as if I can move away from the discomfort in my chest or find another man here somewhere. At some point, I find myself in the bathroom in front of the mirror. Maybe I have peed and washed my hands. Now, during a moment of awareness, I look at myself in the mirror. And I remember. I remember that all situations can be used to increase awareness and to awaken. ‘This is loneliness and longing,’ I say to myself. ‘This is how it feels in the body and mind. It hurts.’ I can see it clearly. Loneliness and longing, a lump in the chest. I place my right hand over my heart, a healing touch. ‘I wish you well, Vikram.’ I smile to myself in the mirror. I’m suffering and I’m responding with compassion. ‘Loneliness and longing are experiences that many of us have at some point in our lives. I have felt this too. I’m part of the human family.’ I see myself as one among many, an infinitely long line of people lonely and longing. I see that, paradoxically, we are also together in the experience of loneliness, and that we are never truly alone. ‘May we all be held in love and awareness. May we all be filled with love and awareness.’ My eyes flood with tears of joy, overwhelmed by the love that is always available.
This is an excerpt from ‘Becoming Buddha: Meditations’ (2020).
Vikram Kolmannskog is a professor at the Norwegian Gestalt Institute, mindfulness meditation teacher, and writer. You can find his meditations and talks – including several based on ‘Becoming Buddha’ – here.
This page first appeared in the UKAGP Newsletter. View the Newsletter here.