Loneliness

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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Kim OHara
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Re: Loneliness

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:57 pm

JohnK wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:17 pm
A small challenge to us if anyone wants to particpate:
We have ideas and questions about causes and such, but what is loneliness? How do you know that what is happening in experience equals lonely?
(preferably using the dhamma to offer answers).
Hi, John,
I don't think the suttas will offer much on loneliness but you can always go to https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index.html and search, which I just did, and then read the linked results - which I didn't.

I suspect that "loneliness" is a relatively modern thing, a product of the loosening of family and community bonds which started with the Industrial Revolution, and wasn't common enough in the Buddha's world to need much attention.

:namaste:
Kim

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Loneliness

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:42 pm



:namaste:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

JohnK
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Re: Loneliness

Post by JohnK » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:27 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:57 pm
...
I don't think the suttas will offer much on loneliness...
I suspect that "loneliness" is a relatively modern thing...
Thanks, Kim.
I wasn't thinking that the suttas would need to discuss loneliness specifically to help address the question of how we come to the conclusion that what we are experiencing is "loneliness," but that teachings in the suttas could be used to explore that question. This exploration could be in the abstract, or even more interesting I think, reflecting on actual experience.
For example, in the abstract, using the khandas, we perhaps have a bodily sensation and vedana that we perceive to be loneliness (but how? especially if it may be as you suggest a modern thing, so probably trickier than perceiving "anger"). Or, using DO, visual contact with an old photograph or a happy family causes an unpleasant feeling that we experience as loneliness. Do we recognize it as loneliness when we begin to recognize thoughts of loneliness? Or before that? So I was just wondering if anyone wanted to explore what I think is either an underlying aspect of the topic or maybe just plain off-topic!
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Loneliness

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:56 am

MN 122: Maha-suññata Sutta — The Greater Discourse on Emptiness

Discovering that the bhikkhus are beginning to enjoy life in society, the Buddha emphasizes the need for isolation in order to remain in the void.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html


:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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Kim OHara
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Re: Loneliness

Post by Kim OHara » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:06 am

Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:56 am
MN 122: Maha-suññata Sutta — The Greater Discourse on Emptiness

Discovering that the bhikkhus are beginning to enjoy life in society, the Buddha emphasizes the need for isolation in order to remain in the void.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html


:anjali:
Yes - absolutely. It has a lot to say about the benefits of being alone.
But being alone is not at all the same as loneliness. As this dictionary https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dicti ... ish/lonely says, "Someone who is lonely is unhappy because they are alone or do not have anyone they can talk to," and the unhappiness is central to loneliness.
The good monks in the sutta actually suffer the exact opposite of loneliness, since they suffer the unhappiness of being with (too many) people.

:namaste:
Kim

binocular
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Re: Loneliness

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:27 am

manas wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:01 pm
I thought that like the apes with whom we share so much DNA, humans are intrinsically social animals...to be content alone, is the exception, rather than the rule.
Rather -- How come it is considered strange that a person may want both: sometimes, to be alone, and other times, to be with others? How come there seems to be a trend in society to allow for only two options: either a person is a loner, or they are gregarious, and that's it. As if it would be impossible or abnormal to want both, each at different times.

binocular
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Re: Loneliness

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:42 am

JohnK wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:27 am
I wasn't thinking that the suttas would need to discuss loneliness specifically to help address the question of how we come to the conclusion that what we are experiencing is "loneliness," but that teachings in the suttas could be used to explore that question. This exploration could be in the abstract, or even more interesting I think, reflecting on actual experience.
For example, in the abstract, using the khandas, we perhaps have a bodily sensation and vedana that we perceive to be loneliness (but how? especially if it may be as you suggest a modern thing, so probably trickier than perceiving "anger"). Or, using DO, visual contact with an old photograph or a happy family causes an unpleasant feeling that we experience as loneliness. Do we recognize it as loneliness when we begin to recognize thoughts of loneliness? Or before that?
Taking care of our eight cats, I've made an interesting discovery:
Like most people, I've grown up with the belief that cats are loners. But regularly seeing six cats play together, and sleep together in the same big box (on a relatively warm day, so they weren't huddling together because it was cold) made me reconsider the "Cats are loners" dogma. Observing the cats, I see that sometimes, they like to be with other cats, or us humans; and other times, they are happy to be alone, or even want to be left alone. When they are alone, they don't seem to me like they are seeking out secluded parts of the house or the garden to sulk or because they would be unwell, they just like it. Just like at other times, they like to be with other cats, or with us humans.
Seeing how social these supposedly loner cats are, made me rethink how I think of aloneness and loneliness.

It seems to me that the feeling of loneliness arises when a person believes 1. they should have particular types of relationships with others, and that they should be in those relationships 24/7; and 2. that being alone is always bad.

- - -
Kim OHara wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:57 pm
I suspect that "loneliness" is a relatively modern thing, a product of the loosening of family and community bonds which started with the Industrial Revolution, and wasn't common enough in the Buddha's world to need much attention.
On the contrary, loneliness seems to be a prominent theme for people who are very social. It's very social people who can't stand to be alone, and who experience aloneness as loneliness (and who socialize in order to escape the feeling of loneliness).

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manas
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Re: Loneliness

Post by manas » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:10 pm

This very medium we are using right now - the Internet, and social media in particular - has contributed to increasing real-life isolation from other human beings, for many people.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Nwad
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Re: Loneliness

Post by Nwad » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:17 am

Seclusion is a gift that prised by the Lord !
When some one is secluded, his mind goes inward, not outward, he is mindful, have no distraction to flood his mind ... :meditate:

What i love the most is a loneliness. You are free when you are alone...

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Loneliness

Post by Crazy cloud » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:46 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:02 am
I refute the premise that people who are married are not lonely, that those who have four siblings are not lonely, that those who have lot of real life friends are not lonely.

Being alone is the natural state of a human being. In recent decades, it is this natural tendency that is becoming more and more visible.


:namaste:
Being a human is a process, so which part do you consider to be the natural lonely bit?
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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No_Mind
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Re: Loneliness

Post by No_Mind » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:44 am

Crazy cloud wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:46 am
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:02 am
I refute the premise that people who are married are not lonely, that those who have four siblings are not lonely, that those who have lot of real life friends are not lonely.

Being alone is the natural state of a human being. In recent decades, it is this natural tendency that is becoming more and more visible.


:namaste:
Being a human is a process, so which part do you consider to be the natural lonely bit?
The adult matured one after 40

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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