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There is something I must dwell on
because I know more than I know and must learn it from myself.

— Marilynne Robinson

The novelist E.M Forster once wrote “only connect”. As human beings, we are in constant relationship with both ourselves and the world around us. To be human is to be connected. The Buddha taught that one of the root causes of our suffering is the view that we are separate from the world and other living beings. When I feel unconnected to others and isolated from myself and my environment I find this very painful. It is interesting to note that when we feel connected to others then our actions in the world become more selfless and compassionate, our relationship to others more harmonious, giving our lives a deeper sense of meaning and abundance. The yoga teacher and writer Donna Farhi says in her book Bringing Yoga to Life:

“Which viewpoint we adopt – seeing the world from the perspective of connection or separation – will determine all our interactions and how we interpret and give meaning to even the most ordinary moments. As long as we see the world from the viewpoint of separateness, we are doomed to a life of conflict and suffering.”