Aloneness & Solitude

“Feel it more, and not only feel it, delight in it. These are just wrong notions. People think that when they are lonely they have to be sad. This is just a wrong association, a wrong interpretation…

because all that is beautiful has happened always in loneliness; nothing has happened in a crowd.

Nothing of the beyond has happened except when one is in absolute solitude, lonely.

But the extrovert mind has created conditioning all around which has become very ingrained – that when you are lonely you feel bad. Move, meet people, because all happiness is with people. That’s not true. The happiness that is with people is very superficial, and the happiness that happens when you are alone is tremendously deep. So delight in it. Just the very word ‘lonely’ creates a certain sadness in you. Don’t call it lonely, call it aloneness; call it solitude, don’t call it isolation. Wrong names can create trouble. Call it a meditative state… it is.

And when it happens, enjoy it. Sing something, dance something, or just sit silently facing the wall and waiting for something to happen. Make it an awaiting, and soon you will come to know a different quality. It is not sadness at all. Once you have tasted from the very depth of aloneness, all relationship is superficial. Even love cannot go so deep as aloneness goes, because even in love the other is present, and the very presence of the other keeps you closer to the circumference, to the periphery.

When there is nobody, not even a thought of anybody and you are really alone, you start sinking, you drown into yourself. Don’t be afraid. In the beginning that drowning will look like death and a gloom will surround you, a sadness will surround you, because you have always known happiness with people, in relationships.

Just wait a little. Let the sinking go deeper, and you will see a silence arising and a stillness which has a dance to it… an unmoving movement inside. Nothing moves, and still everything is tremendously speedy… empty, yet full. Paradoxes meet and contradictions dissolve.

So for one month you delight in it, and just wait for something to happen. Sit silent, relaxed, yet tense because you are waiting, something is going to descend on you. And I am going to do something.

Bodhidharma sat for nine years just facing the wall, doing nothing – just sitting for nine years.

The tradition has it that his legs withered away. To me that is symbolic. It simply means that all movements withered away because all motivation withered away. He was not going anywhere.

There was no desire to move, no goal to achieve – and he achieved the Greatest that is possible.

He is one of the rarest souls that has ever walked on earth. And just sitting before a wall he achieved everything; not doing anything, no technique, no method, nothing. This was the only technique.

So whenever you sit, just sit facing the wall. The wall is very beautiful, mm? There is no way to move anywhere you look and there is the wall. There is nowhere to go. Don’t even put a picture there; just have a plain wall. When there is nothing to see, by and by your interest in seeing disappears.

By just facing a plain wall, inside you a parallel emptiness and plainness arises. Parallel to the wall another wall arises – of no-thought.

Remain open and delight. Smile, sometimes hum a tune or sway. Sometimes you can dance – but go on facing the wall; let it be your object of meditation.

I don’t see that there is any problem. One has to come to terms with one’s loneliness one day or another. Once you face it, loneliness changes its colour, its quality; its taste becomes totally different. It becomes aloneness. Then it is not isolation; it is solitude. Isolation has misery in it; solitude has an expanse of blissfulness.

If this desire arises to eat again, immediately stuff as much as you can. Don’t wait until tomorrow, immediately stuff. That may be just part of your feeling of loneliness. Whenever one feels empty and lonely, one wants to stuff oneself with anything, because whenever you feel empty, the stomach is the only place emptiness is felt. So one misinterprets it; one feels as if one is hungry when one is not. By stuffing the stomach, that emptiness is not going to disappear – that’s why you go on stuffing. You go on stuffing but you never feel satisfied.

So go on stuffing; there is nothing wrong in it. Stuff so much that it becomes almost nauseous. Let that stuffing be associated with nausea, then there is a natural repulsion. It is going to disappear….”