We Are Profoundly Interconnected

March 12, 2024

“In short, we need others for our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Without others we are nothing. Our sense that we are an island, an independent, self-sufficient individual, bears no relation to reality.”
– Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Transform Your Life

Everything we have is made possible by other people. Indeed, everything we are, everything we do, say, and even think comes from others: our bodies (thank you, mom and dad!), our food, our knowledge, our language, our material resources, everything. There is nothing we have or can name that has not been provided to us by others.

Right now we don’t generally think this way. Due to what Buddha called our ignorance, or mistaken view, we feel we are distinct, separate individuals who don’t depend on anyone or anything.

In his book, How to Transform Your Life, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso writes, “It is closer to the truth to picture ourself as a cell in the vast body of life, distinct yet intimately bound up with all living beings. We cannot exist without others, and they in turn are affected by everything we do. The idea that it is possible to secure our own welfare while neglecting that of others, or even at the expense of others, is completely unrealistic.”

If we contemplate how interconnected we are with all living beings, we will naturally develop our appreciation of them; and we will feel more and more that we are part of a web of kindness. We will start to see ourself as surrounded by friends. Even if someone is difficult or challenges us, we will learn to appreciate what we might learn from them.

In this way, we will become part of the solution rather than part of the problem. In his book, Universal Compassion, Geshe Kelsang writes, “If we cherish others, we will avoid harming them with negative actions. Instead, we will practice positive actions of love, patience, and giving, and thereby create the cause to experience happiness and good fortune in the future.”

Being concerned about the welfare of others, loving them, appreciating them and having compassion for them isn’t just a nice idea, it’s logical. According to Buddha, there is no wisdom in living from the point of view of self concern only, thinking that we are special or more important than others. It is simply not in alignment with how things exist.

Check out this video, where Kadam Morten explores interconnectedness and love from the Buddhist point-of-view based on Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s teachings:

Other Blog Posts

Gen Menla in NYC 2024 6

Three Public Talks in Three Days – Gen Menla’s 2024 Visit to NYC!

Blog Center Happenings Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on Email Share on Reddit In early March, we had the pleasure of welcoming Gen Menla at…


How To Meditate – A Guide

How to Meditate When practiced correctly, meditation is a scientific method for increasing happiness. Buddha discovered that we each have a natural reservoir of inner peace in our mind which…


Change Your Mind, Change Your World

“We may think that our suffering is caused by other people, by poor material conditions or by society, but in reality it all comes from our own deluded states of…


Limitless Potential is Our True Nature

“Each and every living being has within them the seed, or potential, to become a Buddha, a fully enlightened being – this is our Buddha nature. In Buddha’s teachings we…


Healing All Our Relationships

“Purifying our mind of delusions through spiritual practice fulfills our deepest longing for true, lasting happiness.” – Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Transform Your Life According to the…


How to Live Without Anxiety

“Normally our need to escape from unpleasant feelings is so urgent that we do not give ourself the time to discover where these feelings actually come from.” – Venerable Geshe…


The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Mind

“When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within.” – Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Transform…


Do You Believe Happiness is Entirely an Inside Job?

“If our mind is peaceful, we will be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions, but if it is disturbed or troubled in any way, we will never be…


Watching the Mind From Within


What Are Your Deepest Wishes?

Meet Our Sangha

Sangha refers to our supreme spiritual friends who inspire us by their example, assist us in our practice, and encourage us to follow correct spiritual paths.


Chris: Fearless in the Face of Cancer


Cesar: Merging Dharma and Daily Life


Paige: The Choice in Every Moment


Maria: Transcending Fear and Panic


Woo: Journeying Inwards to Deepen Connections


Shelley: Cancer and Living in the Present Moment


Bliem: The Quest to Count 10 Million Mantras


Sharon: Learning to Let Go of Anxiety


Joseph: A Life Centered Around Dharma


Marcela: I Love Kadampa Festivals!