We live in a constant need for change. Moving from one side to another, shifting from left to right, scrambling between what is right and wrong, and this has brought nothing but brief, momentary joy. For instance, after sitting for a long time cross-legged, we feel great relief when we unfold our legs. But the relief is momentary and we want to change our position again. We keep changing, seeking pleasure, comfort and satisfaction, which often is short-lived. As human beings we deserve a middle way – an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.
The middle way is wide open, but has a tough going. It goes against the very nature of our neurotic programming. When we feel hurt, lost or lonely, our immediate reaction is to move. Move in any direction that takes us away from feeling them. We move or try to move away from the feeling. The middle way, however, encourages to go through the feelings. Certain feelings, though, seem particularly charged with a need for resolution – like loneliness, boredom, anxiety.
Staying in the middle way gets tough unless we relax with these feelings. We seek praise or blame, victory or defeat. When someone abandons us, we don’t want to experience the discomfort that stems from it. We seen escape. We prefer to identify ourselves as the hapless victim instead. We immediately cover the pain in one way or another, by identifying with victimhood in this case. With the desire to escape, we find something or someone to keep us company. We regard loneliness as an enemy. In middle way, however, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness. We begin to see loneliness as relaxing and cooling, which is the completely opposite of our fearful pattern.
Following Are The Six Ways Of Explaining This Kind Of Cool Loneliness:
1. Practice Less Desire
Less Desire is the willingness to be lonely without resolution, even when everything in us longs for something to cheer us up and change our mood. Once we practice less desire wholeheartedly and consistently, something shifts. The loneliness is present and yet we sit with the restlessness, for longer than we could sit previously. The less we spin off and go crazy, the more we taste the satisfaction of the cool loneliness.
2. Find Contentment
When we have nothing, we have nothing to lose. We are, however, programmed to feel that we have a lot to lose. This feeling that we have lot to lose is rooted in fear. Fear of change, of anything that can’t be resolved, of loneliness or even nonexistence. Giving up believing that we are capable of escaping loneliness will bring lasting happiness or joy or sense of well-being. Contentment is the synonym for loneliness, cool loneliness, settling down with cool loneliness. Contentment is just being lonely with no alternative, content to be right here with what’s happening.
3. Eliminate Unnecessary Activities
When lonely, we look for a way out. We look for something to save us from the loneliness. We feel uneasy when lonely, and we try to come up with companions to save us from feeling it. That’s called an unnecessary activity. An activity which we seek to keep ourselves busy so don’t have to feel the pain of loneliness. It could range from obsessing over true romance and making a gossip into an important news, to taking off into the wilderness alone. Relaxing with loneliness will stop you from seeking the usual, repetitive ways of distancing ourselves from loneliness.
4. Complete Discipline
Complete discipline means that we‘re willing to come back, just gently come back to the present moment at every opening. It’s realising that we are fundamentally alone and there is nothing anywhere to hold on to. It allows us to finally discover a complete unfabricated state of being, where we know that we don’t know and that we don’t ultimately know anything.
5. Not Wandering In The World Of Desire
Wandering in the world of desire involves looking for alternatives, seeking something to comfort us, be it food, drink, people or anything comforting. The word “desire” encompasses the quality of addiction, the way we grab for something because we want to find a way to make things okay. Not wandering in the world of desire is about relating directly with how things are. It is realising that loneliness is not a problem and it is nothing to be solved. The same goes with any other experience in life.
6. Not Seeking Security From One’s Discursive Thoughts
With cool loneliness we do not expect security from our own discursive thought, our internal chatter – how it is and how it isn’t, whether it is or it isn’t, whether it can or can’t, whether it should or it shouldn’t. We are encouraged to just touch those discursive thoughts and let it go and not make much ado about nothing. Cool loneliness allows us to look honestly, without aggression at our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we want or ought to be, or who we think other people think we want or ought to be. We give it up and just look directly with humour and compassion at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat, no heartache and no punishment.