Surveys often report that a large number of people feel lonely. Does the Buddhadharma offer any help in this regard? Fortunately, there are at least two Dharma remedies for this unhappy emotion: relative and absolute.


The absolute remedy asks the question: Who is lonely? Applying Nāgārjuna’s logical analysis of not finding the self (the self is not the body, etc.), one arrives at the conclusion that there is no self to be lonely. This may work for some, but perhaps not for everyone.


The relative remedy invites us to recall the Mahayana teaching that due to an infinite number of rebirths which we’ve all undergone, all beings have been our dear mother many times. Lama Yeshe said meditating deeply on the truth of this connection, we can dissolve our loneliness and replace it with loving kindness and compassion.