Most people who have experienced oneness say they’d choose to live permanently in this state of mind if it were possible. Oneness is perhaps the most profound and sublime state a human being can ever achieve, a blissful (although usually fleeting) sensation where we are overcome with joy and multi-directional feelings of intense connection. Oneness shows us the meaning of connection, in every sense of the word.
In essence, oneness is a feeling of interconnectedness – a transcendence of boundaries or dividers. It is usually experienced as an intense heart-opening, and awareness of the inherent goodness of all beings. We gain the ability to see beauty everywhere, in everything and everyone. In that state of mind, it is easy to imagine a pathway to end all human conflict. Not surprisingly, the feeling of oneness is the source of a vast array of spiritual and philosophical musings.
Understanding Oneness Through The Lens Of Connection
“We are here to awaken from the illusion of separateness” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Too often, concepts like oneness are monopolized by organized religions, spiritual seekers or new age devotees. Such groups tend to suggest that oneness is a privilege only for their members. But oneness is not something you need to qualify for spiritually to experience. It’s free and readily available to everyone, regardless of their faith.
You don’t have to have a near-death experience or adopt any particular belief system to experience a state of oneness. In my experience, this beautiful state of mind can occur as a spontaneous response to ordinary life events like a walk through the woods, or a genuine conversation. It’s merely a matter of recognizing oneness for what it is, and inclining your mind towards it.
Everyday Examples Of Connecting With Oneness
Like connection, oneness can be experienced on a micro level, where the boundaries between you and another person dissolve, or more broadly when you feel as if you’re united with all of creation. It can be a momentary wave of feeling and awareness that passes over you – or an impactful and life-altering experience, where you suddenly see the truth of everything, and the meaning of connection is made manifest.
Experiences of oneness often happen when we are alone, and frequently occur in nature. Environmental philosopher Glen Albrecht describes oneness with nature as “A feeling where the boundaries between the self and the rest of nature are obliterated, and a deep sense of peace and connectedness pervade consciousness.”
Here are some other common descriptions of oneness.
- An experience of feeling closeness and unity to all that surrounds you.
- A momentary burst of love, gratitude, and interconnectedness as you sit with cherished friends.
- The awe and significance or insignificance you feel when gazing up at the stars.
- A silent, sudden awareness that strangers on the subway are really your brothers and sisters.
- The realization that others have many of the same dreams and heartaches that you have.
- A sense that you are in sync with the universe, and breathing through the lungs of the earth
- Feeling in complete harmony with an understanding of every sentient being.
- A state of neither wanting nor needing anything.
- The deep knowledge that everything is going to be okay.
- A sense that everything is linked and that everything we do has an effect on the world.
Cultivating Oneness To Promote Connection
I find it useful to think about oneness as a practice – something we stay open to, and intentionally strive to cultivate. Experiences of oneness are profoundly heart-opening, and can turbo boost you on your journey to more connected living. Moments of oneness are deeply connecting both in the moment, and in how they shape our view of the world and our place in it.
Try lifting your gaze from your desk to take in the larger network of people of which you are a part. Closing your eyes on a hike to listen to the natural environment. Singing along at a live concert or church service, and feeling your voice join with others’.
Oneness illuminates natural wisdom that makes it far easier to see what matters in life and what doesn’t. It enables us to bask in a sense of worthiness, belonging, and beauty. In short, it helps us see and experience the true meaning of connection.
The Ultimate Meaning of Connection Is A Sublime State Of Interconnection
Emotions like love, appreciation, and peace tend to spring up during experiences of oneness, and this is often a clue that you are entering into one of those ultra-connected states. All you have to do is savor these moments, and linger with them longer to allow them to amplify.
Take note when you feel your mind and heart opening simultaneously, and don’t be afraid to be over-inclusive in your personal definition or experiences of oneness. This is a territory where more is most certainly merrier! Feelings of oneness and connection are mutually expansive. The more alert you are to noticing oneness in new scenarios, the more you will experience it. And the natural, welcome result of these moments is the profoundest sense of true connection.