Loneliness as a doorway to connection – guided meditation

March 15, 2013

Loneliness can be a doorway to connection. Contained within the feelings of loneliness is our capacity for connection. Our podcast meditation – Guided Meditation for Loneliness – encourages you to go deep into the feelings of loneliness to connect with yourself and ultimately with others.

So often we resist emotions that we feel are threatening or unpleasant. Most of us don’t want to feel pain, but resisting our feelings alienates us from ourselves. This is especially true with loneliness. When we are lonely, we may feel deeply sad or have a strong sense of yearning. We might feel anxious, especially if we feel that there is something wrong with us for feeling they way we do. And yet going into the very heart of loneliness, experiencing it all the way, allows us to feel the most important connection of all — the connection to ourselves.

Remember — loneliness is a normal human feeling. It’s a result of your natural capacity and desire for connection. I would love to hear about your experiences with this meditation.


38 Responses to “Loneliness as a doorway to connection – guided meditation”

  1. Kulkarni on March 15th, 2013 10:29 pm

    I am regular meditator since last ten years. My third eye opened and undergone the shakti path. My problem is I am not getting good sleep. I am full awareness in the sleep. I am in practice of breath awareness meditation. Kindly suggest my problems.

  2. Mary on March 17th, 2013 2:10 pm

    Kulkarni, you need to find a teacher who can discuss your situation with you in depth. Problems with sleep can be due to many different things. Good luck.

  3. Kulkarni on March 18th, 2013 1:45 am

    Thank you mary for your response.

  4. Nicole Urdang on March 21st, 2013 9:12 am

    Namaste Kulkarni,

    You may want to try Yoga Nidra. It’s an ancient practice that does not involve any yoga postures.
    You can get a free download by going to iTunes, to podcasts, to Elsies Yoga, to episode number 62.
    The first fifteen minutes she’s chatting with a fan, so you can fast forward through that.
    This practice, which engenders theta brain waves, is best listened to with ear buds. Not only will it ease you into sleep, but it has a cumulative effect.
    Good luck!

  5. Reeya on March 22nd, 2013 9:14 pm

    Hi Mary!

    I have been battling with this emotion having lost my parents in my childhood and then taken on the role of being the “strong” sibling growing up.
    I am now learning, however, that emotions are okay to experience and you don’t have to cover them up nor should you.

    Also, I’ve started down my spiritual path more than 3 yrs. ago but am fairly new to meditation (<6mos). For me with meditation, it’s been an on / off feeling like perhaps I'm not getting that true connection with myself because I may be trying too hard. I've commented on one of your other pages that so far, I've found the most help with your guided meditations so again, thank you for that.

    But most recently when I listened to your guided meditation on loneliness, I had a different experience all together and I guess it’s because this emotion might hit home with me more.

    I listened to it the other night after having stopped meditating for a few days due to that aforementioned feeling of trying too hard and there was a moment in my meditation where everything just stopped….this the best way I can describe it. I don't know for how long or any other helpful details I can think if but there was a moment that came that sort of pulled me out of it when a thought snuck in saying that I didn't even feel like I was in my bedroom or even anywhere for that matter.

    Do you know what this experience is or has anyone else had this type of experience before? Whatever the case it was certainly, the most different experience I’ve ever had.

  6. Mary on March 23rd, 2013 10:57 am

    Reeya, Sometimes it can happen meditation that either the thoughts settle down completely, so that no thoughts are happening, or that the mind can become so expanded and relaxed that there’s simply no awareness of thoughts, sounds, etc. going on. Awareness is left alone by itself. Often this happens for brief periods without us even being aware of it. It could happen for a split second or for a few seconds. It sounds like this time it happened long enough for you to notice it. You only notice it when the experience is ending, because noticing it requires active attention on the part of the mind. What you noticed was when the mind was becoming active again. You described as a thought pulling you out of it. Sometimes we are actually able to experience that transition, and that’s what happened in this case. It IS very hard to describe! Let me know if you still have questions.

  7. Reeya on March 24th, 2013 6:38 am

    Thank you for your response, Mary. It was also funny to me that I wanted back in and tried. Which as you already know the answer to what happened to that. :)

    Another experience I wanted to mention is the one I had the second time I listened to this GM. It helping me analyze this emotion within myself a little more and see where I’ve tried to connect with others in my every day life.

    Whenever someone was telling me a story about their family, pet, job, food they ate, anything…I had to find something relatable to bring to the convo, instead of just listening. Moreover, I used to look at others the same people that did that “one uppers”. But I understand that in my case, it’s not that at all. I just want to fill that void of what I lost as a child. So I guess I’ve been doing that to relate and/or connect to my associates in some way.

    So your meditation on loneliness is not only allowing me to finally connection with the one person who matters ME, it’s also giving me a better understanding of human behavior overall and so that I can be more understanding the next time I see someone who I used to call a “one upper” whether it be in the mirror or in the streets, and perhaps look at them with more love & compassion. 😉

    Thanks again Mary! You are a blessing!

  8. Mary on March 25th, 2013 9:27 am

    Reeya, I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to hear this. It’s all I could have hoped for in creating this meditation. Thank you for your openness and courage. May you connect more and more deeply with yourself!!! I’m going to quote some of this in a Facebook post. I hope that’s OK with you. I think your experience could inspire and support others!

  9. reed on April 1st, 2013 6:45 pm

    hi mary
    i have just subscribed and am very interested in the loneliness meditation
    i have searched around the site and do not see it offered
    how does one go about acquiring it in an mp3 downloadable format?

  10. Mary on April 2nd, 2013 8:54 am

    Reed, you can listen to and download all of our podcast episodes on our Listen to Our Podcast page — Let us know how the meditation works for you!

  11. Oliver Dodd on April 4th, 2013 5:15 am

    Great post.

    It’s very easy to get sad during loneliness, but as you say, it’s a great opportunity for connection to your higher self/source

  12. Mary on April 5th, 2013 1:08 pm

    Thanks, Oliver. When we suppress an emotion, we do cut off our connection to self. Being fully alive and connected means experiencing the emotions we enjoy and the ones we don’t!

  13. Reeya on April 13th, 2013 7:00 pm

    Hi there again Mary! Of course I am ok with you sharing anything I post here on this website on facebook. Especially in an effort to inspire others the way you inspire me. :)

  14. Kumar on April 21st, 2013 12:36 pm

    I’ve been meditating since my school days. I am living in the US, away from from my home India. In my meditation I see lot of pictures and sort of forget the sense of time and space. Today after doing mediation, I had this sense of loneliness overwhelm me. I am not able to figure out what it is. Is it a normal home sickness, being away from family and friends or there is something else that I am not able to figure out.

  15. Mary on April 22nd, 2013 9:43 am

    Kumar, the best thing is for your to investigate that feeling of loneliness and see what it is. It could certainly be “normal home sickness” or something else. Sometimes, though, we can’t figure out exactly where a feeling comes from. In any case, it’s important to let yourself feel it, not running away from it. All feelings are temporary and pass.

  16. Tina on April 27th, 2013 3:19 am

    I have my own way of meditating, though there are some cases I may consider certain meditation techniques so that it could be more effective. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Ruanda Dolak on May 19th, 2013 11:40 am

    Very good meditation. I am battling with loneliness from within a troubled marriage, despite my efforts to build an independent ‘life’ for myself through volunteerism and other activities. Your meditation eased my mind, settled my soul, and gave me a fresh starting point for changing my life. Everlasting thanks. Namaste.

  18. Mary on May 20th, 2013 9:17 am

    Ruanda, an everlasting you’re welcome to you! I’m so glad to hear the meditation is helping. Best wishes as you continue on your path.

  19. Mike on May 30th, 2013 2:08 pm

    Thanks Mary. This is wonderful. Having huge pangs of loneliness, which is even worse as this is mixed with depression and anxiety, tonight it was decided that it would be best to face these feelings head on, in a compassionate, honest way.

    It was great therefore after googling ‘meditation loneliness’ to find your article which gave great confidence. There is a sense of dread to go through with this, however it feels like the best way forward.

    Loved the way you put a positive spin on feelings of loneliness, i.e. that it is the flip side of our capacity for connection.

    Thanks x x

  20. Mary on May 31st, 2013 1:16 pm

    You are welcome, Mike. Have you actually tried the meditation? If so, how did that go?

  21. Midev on June 3rd, 2013 7:30 am

    Hi Mary,
    Firstly I would like to thank you for your guided meditation sessions- I have tried most of them- and received support when I ask for it.
    But tonite- I am suddenly remnded of being all alone- my patents have both passed away and I feel so alone- tho I have siblings I feel all alone- as they have family of their own and I had lived with my parents until they died- one after the other- my dad passed away 9 months ago. Living alone is very very sad- I cannot seem to meditate the feeling away- I so long to have people in this house- but short of bringing a complete stranger in- no one else is around.
    I feel close to suicide now.
    Please … What meditation can I use to drive these feelings of loneliness away….I feel no one needs me anymore and o feel soo sad,,,

  22. Mary on June 3rd, 2013 9:45 am

    Midev, I am sorry you are having such a hard time. Please check your emails for my response.

  23. meditation on June 11th, 2013 7:59 am

    Hi I have found your thoughts on meditation very interesting . I have found that for myself loneliness comes from my inner fears. I try to calm my (pesky) mind and get in touch with what I am afraid of and work that out. After that I work on loneliness by making attempts to get out more (small baby steps). Sometimes just smiling in public can help.

  24. Mary on June 11th, 2013 11:21 am

    Thank you, meditation, for sharing your experience with loneliness. It certainly can come from fear!

  25. Amy von Diest on October 17th, 2013 4:17 pm

    This meditation on loneliness specifically is phenomenal, thank you!

  26. Mary on October 18th, 2013 9:38 am

    Amy, you are welcome!

  27. Sally on October 21st, 2013 4:05 pm

    Hi Mary, thanks so much for this website and podcasts – have only just come across it and love it. was brought up by a physically and verbally abusive very religious man who told me from when i was old enough to remember (about 2) that i was useless and stupid whenever i did anything that wasn’t the way he expected it done. fun was never allowed and i lived in fear. consequently i grew up believing i was useless and stupid and was always scared of life. in 2006 i had a major shift with hypnotherapy – amazing! after 3 months though i regressed and have never been able to achieve the same state of actually living ever again.
    i am fearful of meeting people – particularly men or very loud people so many think i am rude or have nothing to say – result loneliness. conversely, the beautiful man in my life is very outgoing and i know gets upset when i cannot seem to get on with many. once i get to know people (which can take ages) – no problems and thankfully i have some beautiful friends who have perservered with me. have this year started meditation and love what it can do. i was hoping you could perhaps recommend a range of or specific podcast(s) that you think might be of benefit? thank you.

  28. Mary on October 24th, 2013 10:23 am

    Hi Sally, the best thing is to try the meditations in the podcast whose titles appeal to you, and see for yourself which ones are useful for you. I’d also highly recommend finding a good therapist to work with. A good one will have techniques, like EMDR, which can be really helpful with such a difficult background. I wish you well with your ongoing healing.

  29. LH on November 7th, 2013 11:36 pm

    Hello Mary, first of all, thank you for this wonderful guided meditation. I have been listening to your podcast for a while now and the connection that I have been having with the sound of your voice, with the music, with the guidance itself has been eye opening and heart opening. I am grateful of the existence of such a website.

    Loneliness has been daunting on me as emptiness, lost, yearning, anxiousness. I have been looking outside all the time to find other people, other activities to fill my time and loneliness. More often than not, I feel even more lonely after that when I am alone again.

    Today is the 2nd time I listened this mediation. When I went inside and focused on my body, it came to me that I am deeply sad, that my heart is broken. That strikes me! After my breakup about a year ago, I have been struggling to pull myself up again, to show the world I am fine, to numb myself with business and also to have actually listened to different dharma talks on changes about life etc. But it was just until today, after the 2nd time of listening to your podcast, it woke me up that yes, my heart is broken, badly broken. Along with that realization came actually a softness, a calmness and a kindness. I was feeling myself hugging myself and feeling good to be there for myself. It was a fulfilling happy moment.

    Thank you so much, Mary!

  30. Mary on November 8th, 2013 10:56 am

    LH, thank you for sharing this moving story. It’s wonderful that you have been able to open to what is in your heart. It is self-loving and compassionate to attend to a broken heart. Although it is painful to grieve, that is what allows us connection with ourselves, and ultimately with others. You might also want to listen to the Guided Meditation for Grief. All the best to you in the days ahead.

  31. Jennifer on November 12th, 2013 10:58 am

    Wow, so glad I found this post. Never has it been more relevant to my life. I think I went through this process instinctively and I’m already starting to see changes in the connections I have with other people.

  32. Mary on November 13th, 2013 10:45 am

    That’s great, Jennifer!

  33. Matthew on December 19th, 2013 6:45 pm

    Funny how I stumble onto this page at this time, then accidentally click on this link. Synchronicity has been pointing me today directly to the deep blockages and heavy resistance I carry daily as I ask for a solution- a simultaneous answer.. Like I don’t already know… Apparently I need to learn to face and embrace this loneliness to finally let go. It’s hard, and life is constantly putting me through the tests. They say if life keep asking you the same questions then you ain’t learnin the lesson -the grouch.. I learn from each experience, the challenge is putting into practice and choosing to empower myself rather than choosing the pain and loneliness. It takes a lot of strength to allow myself to experience openness and connection. Thanks for the meditation.. Life suddenly brought me here, reminding me to put into practice what has been clear for a long time. I look forward to more podcasts! I need a lot of practice and healing. Gratitude and <3

  34. Mary on December 20th, 2013 11:06 am

    Matthew, you are welcome. I hope the podcast meditations help you with your journey. We do move through various experiences, learning the same things deeper and deeper. One of the goals in these meditations is for us to become easier on ourselves and more accepting of our journey. Wishing you the best!

  35. RYAN on February 11th, 2015 6:34 pm

    wow what do you do when you hide your feelings up for ten years. my third eye is blind but beginning to see the error of my ways for the past decade. thanks for having this really helping me to deal with severe anxiety and an all around weird strange life right now.

  36. Mary on February 12th, 2015 12:06 pm

    You are welcome, Ryan.

  37. Charles on July 4th, 2015 8:59 pm

    Hi Mary, I have been taking care of my parents since 1994. My Father passed in 1998 and since then I have been my Mothers companion and care giver. They were my whole reason for living for the past 25 years and my Mother passed in April,2015. I have 2 older sisters that live out of State and see them often but I have been becoming very emotional in the past three months. I feel very lonely and I am having trouble motivating my self to do what I need to do to go on and pickup my life. This is why I am listening to your pod47.mp3.
    Stuck in my own rut,

  38. Mary on July 5th, 2015 12:31 pm

    Hi Charlie, I hope the Loneliness meditation helps, Charlie. You might also want to do the Meditation for Grief. A lack of motivation (as well as being very emotional) can certainly be part of grief. It could also help to connect with others in a support group. In fact, grief counseling could be a great help. I wish you well in the days ahead!

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