For those of you who already practice yoga will most likely understand the significance of working with the breath, body and mind simultaneously, and subsequently gain the benefits from the power of their interconnection.
But I want to take things a stage further and draw your attention to the fact that EVERYTHING is interconnected. As well as looking inwards, let us look outwards.
Here are some of my favourite quotes that explore all the different angles and aspects of interconnection. They synthesise and convey, better than I can, the importance, vastness and incredibleness that I wish to share about this multidimensional subject.
I hope, from reading these distilled potent lessons, you glean greater insight into the power of interconnection beyond your physical yoga practice and better understand it in its wholeness.
“We have to abandon outdated notions of ‘them’ and ‘us’ and think of our world much more in terms of a great ‘US’, a greater human family.” Dalai Lama
“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” Desmond Tutu
“It’s the perception that creates the thought that creates the feeling.” Jeffrey Rediger
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.” Brene Brown
“We all are so deeply interconnected; we have no option but to love all. Be kind and do good for any one and that will be reflected. The ripples of the kind heart are the highest blessings of the Universe.” Amit Ray
“Thus, once you have adopted such an attitude of infinite interconnectedness, you naturally want to liberate not just yourself but all beings from suffering. The Buddha calls this “the conception of the Spirit of Enlightenment” it is the soul of the Bodhisattva, the person who dedicates him or herself to helping all beings achieve total happiness. When you open to the inevitability of your infinite interconnection with other sensitive beings, you develop compassion. You learn to feel empathy for them, to love them, to want their happiness. You want to keep them from suffering, and you do so just as if they were a part of you.” Robert A.F. Thurman
“True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There’s no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected. Once you are aware of that you are no longer caught in the idea that you are a separate entity.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” John Muir
“The Universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation.” Rumi
“Live from the inside out. Your mind, body and spirit are interconnected. Nourish your soul with mental and physical wellness.” Janet Taylor Spencer
“Everything we put into our bodies — from foods and toxins to thoughts and feelings — can shift immune function at a base level.” Jeffrey Rediger
“You are not limited to this body, to this mind, or to this reality—you are a limitless ocean of Consciousness, imbued with infinite potential. You are existence itself.” Joseph P. Kauffman
“The gravitational waves of the first detection were generated by a collision of black holes in a galaxy 1.3 billion light-years away, and at a time when Earth was teeming with simple, single-celled organisms. While the ripple moved through space in all directions, Earth would, after another 800 million years, evolve complex life, including flowers and dinosaurs and flying creatures, as well as a branch of vertebrates called mammals. Among the mammals, a sub-branch would evolve frontal lobes and complex thought to accompany them. We call them primates.
A single branch of these primates would develop a genetic mutation that allowed speech, and that branch—Homo Sapiens—would invent agriculture and civilization and philosophy and art and science. All in the last ten thousand years. Ultimately, one of its twentieth-century scientists would invent relativity out of his head, and predict the existence of gravitational waves. A century later, technology capable of seeing these waves would finally catch up with the prediction, just days before that gravity wave, which had been traveling for 1.3 billion years, washed over Earth and was detected. Yes, Einstein was a badass.” Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein
“All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.” Chief Seattle
“The indigenous understanding has its basis of spirituality in a recognition of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living things, a holistic and balanced view of the world. All things are bound together. All things connect. What happens to the Earth happens to the children of the earth.” Rebecca Adamson
“The trees in a forest care for each other, sometimes even going so far as to nourish the stump of a felled tree for centuries after it was cut down by feeding it sugars and other nutrients, and so keeping it alive. Only some stumps are thus nourished. Perhaps they are the parents of the trees that make up the forest of today.” Peter Wohlleben
“When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you “help” individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft… But isn’t that how evolution works? You ask. The survival of the fittest? Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well.” Peter Wohlleben
“Mother trees affect the oceans as well, as Katsuhiko Matsunaga and his team in Japan had confirmed. The leaves, when they fall in the autumn, contain a very large, complex acid called fulvic acid. When the leaves decompose, the fulvic acid dissolves into the moisture of the soil, enabling the acid to pick up iron. This process is called chelation. The heavy, iron-containing fulvic acid is now ready to travel, leaving the home ground of the mother tree and heading for the ocean. In the ocean it drops the iron. Hungry algae, like phytoplankton, eat it, then grow and divide; they need iron to activate a body-building enzyme called nitrogenase. This set of relationships is the feeding foundation of the ocean, this is what feeds the fish and keeps the mammals of the sea, like the whale and the otter healthy.” Diana Beresford-Kroeger
“Young people, when they understand the problems, are empowered to take action. When we listen to their voices (they) actually are changing the world and making it better for people, for animals, and for the environment because everything is interconnected.” Dr Jane Goodall
Journal Prompts & Taking Action
As you can see from all these quotes they each address different aspects of interconnection.
- Which aspects do you more easily connect to and feel the quality of interconnection? (The interconnection of mind & body, other beings, the environment & planet, animals, or consciousness & the Universe etc…)
- How does this present itself? Is this highlighted in any way in your life?
- Think of ways you can weave this teaching of interconnection into your yoga practice, and try it out.
- Where do you feel a lack of connection? Which areas in life do you find it harder to grasp the reality of interconnection?
- With this in mind, explore ways to grasp and find deeper levels of interconnection in this area.