Grounding Relationships in Oneness

The ultimate solution for generating peace and accord in our relationships and in our world lies in seeing that we all are one.

Harmony and beauty within our lives and within our communities often fail due to our insistence on the duality of self and others. When we maintain the duality of self and others, we develop disproportionate levels of love and hatred, attraction and repulsion for other people, which throws our relationships out of balance; the capacity for affinity becomes dormant. We judge everyone around us, putting people into categories such as good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable, worthy and unworthy. 

If we replace this spirit of separateness with compassion, much of the friction in human relations will disappear. There will be no inclination to like or dislike people; everyone will be regarded with the eyes of compassion.

When we can practice viewing ourselves and others through a lens of oneness, we will no longer engage in meaningless mind games that prevent us from forming positive connections with all beings.

Each of us, like a fine strand in a web, is a part of the overall picture. Take a look at the five fingers of the hand. They are all different in length. Each finger by itself cannot exert much force. However, if we combine the force of the five fingers, say into a fist, we can really pack a punch.

Instead of rejecting those who are different from us, we should learn to embrace them. Celebrating the differences in people while viewing everyone through the eyes of oneness nurtures powerful connections and creates a plane of existence where everyone is mutually supportive and respectful.

The peace and harmony that ensues from mutual respect and acceptance make the initial efforts all worthwhile. Instead of accentuating our differences, we should highlight our similarities. All beings share an inherent connection. We should treasure the similar conditions that bring us together as neighbors, friends and fellow inhabitants of this precious world.

Bodhisattvas embody this spirit of fundamental similarity and oneness. They love all sentient beings as if they were their own sons and daughters; they see all beings as not separate from themselves. When we suffer, they feel our pain; when we celebrate, they feel our joy. When they help us, they are also helping themselves. This is what is meant when we say, “Cultivate loving-kindness without conditions and ground compassion in oneness.”

From Living Affinity, written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

Image from Pixabay.

More Featured Articles

Human beings are social animals; we cannot live apart from community. As Buddhists, we are told to seek the Dharma among the people, for the Dharma does not exist in some other world or far away place; the Dharma is here among us, embodied in each and every being. When Read more
All my life, many have thought of me as rich, but the truth is, staying poor has always been my motto. I grew up in a poverty-stricken family, yet I never saw myself as poor, because I always felt rich in heart. Till my old age, many have thought of Read more
Though sitting meditation was given to us from the ancient past it is a way for modern people to lead happy lives. Sitting meditation allows us to dispel the pressures of daily life that come from the mind’s confusion and a mistaken understanding of phenomena. Practicing sitting meditation quiets the Read more
The occurrence of a disease is closely related to one’s mental health, physical health, spiritual health, behavior, habits, living environment, and even the society and culture in which one lives.  Harmonizing all of these elements and engaging in specific practices can help to bring about optimum health and prevent illness.  Read more
True stature is not created by form or ornament; words spoken out of jealousy and greed oppose it. Only when evil has been stopped at its roots, and when there is wisdom without anger is there true stature.— Dharmapadavadana Sutra The False Stature of This WorldEveryone wants to be well Read more
Harmful attachments are often described in Buddhist literature as impediments or hindrances because they block our view of the truth and prevent us from seeing our own Buddha nature. Read more
Music gives us the capacity to express deep emotions. Whether through holy hymns or chants of praise, music is capable of uplifting the mind to an almost sublime state. As such, it has a significant role in the promotion of religion.All Buddhas and bodhisattvas are very skilled in utilizing music Read more
I once copied out a sutra in blood by pricking myself, and once I also burned my arm as an offering. I once remained silent for a year without speaking, and once I also kept my eyes closed for three months without seeing. Later on, I would occasionally open my Read more
Love and affection are infinitely valuable. There are various levels of love and affection that we can aspire to. Some people describe how people love this way: Young people love with their words, middle-aged people love with their actions, and elder people love with their hearts.  Read more
In the past, during the feudal period of Chinese history, men were respected while women were thought of as being rather contemptible. The birth of a son was compared to fashioning an ornament as precious as jade, which not only made everyone happy, but also raised the status of his Read more
It is my hope that our Buddhist monks will all become monks who give support in all directions and not become monks who live off all directions. Whoever it may be, the monastic followers or the lay disciples, although we have not yet attained enlightenment, we can still broadly make Read more
When there is hope, there is a future. The worst tragedy in life is to live without hope for the future. When there is hope, there is a future. One of the mottoes of the Buddha's Light International Association is "to give others hope." That is the highest act of benevolence. Read more