Q103. How can we feel oneness with our surroundings?

A. Why do you think we can’t feel oneness? The habit of labelling prevents us from feeling oneness. Labelling is drawing lines that divide one into many. When we label a thing as red, we separate it from what doesn’t look red. The label, ‘red’ is a line that divides one into what is red and what is not red. When labeling a thing as good, the label ‘good’ is a line that divides one into what is good and what is not good.

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We have produced countless divisions and are so addicted to them that we have forgotten the root, the original shape that we come from. The labels or divisions are referred to as illusions in Buddhism because they are not real but imaginary. Zen meditation can be said to be a practice that makes many into one by eliminating all labels or illusions. The most common and difficult label to erase is ‘I’. In order to eliminate the ‘I’, you need to realise what you are when your body is not you. When we eliminate the imaginary line ‘I’, then we can feel oneness with our surroundings.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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