This Is How We Are All One (Book Adaptation From “Wait”)

To give is to love.

A single oak tree can have half a million leaves. If we see each leaf as an individual, our vision is too limited. Each leaf is a part of the whole tree. A leaf cannot live alone. It has to hang in there with others.

Your heart is filled with the wisdom of the ages.

This is also true of us. We can’t be by ourselves alone. We can only be together with everyone. You and I are connected.

We Are All One: Here Is How We Are All Connected

When you’re happy, I’m happy. If you think you’re unworthy, that hurts me. The moment you raise the thought of connecting with others, you’re already liberated from the idea that you can’t.

If you think you have nothing to give, it isn’t true. Be generous. No one is too poor to give. Your heart is filled with the wisdom of the ages. It is clear, and capable of joy and gratitude.

If you think you’re unworthy, that hurts me.

You are free because you understand suffering. You’ve suffered, and now you understand how satisfying it is to support others. You’ve been lonely and you know the value of love. The more you give, the richer you become.

Just as the leaf is on a branch with all the other leaves, when you give, you are a part of your community. And so, when you give, you also receive.

You’re no longer a single leaf; you become the whole tree; you become all of life. And when you do, you cannot die. When a leaf falls from a tree, it doesn’t disappear. It becomes the earth – in fact, the whole cosmos.

You’re no longer a single leaf; you become the whole tree; you become all of life.

If someone asks you, “What is the cosmos?” hold up a leaf, or show them your hand. The cosmos is between your fingertips. You think you can die and escape your painful life, but there’s no way to escape. However, you can learn to love life.

An Introduction to Buddhism, The Four Noble Truths, and The Eightfold Path

Get Ready to Be Inspired: Every Day Is a Chance to Help

Even when you feel depleted, burned out, you can still be generous. Text a friend and tell her how important she is for you. Send a small gift to someone you care about. Say hello to a stranger. One way out of burnout is to reach out to someone who needs your help.

Supporting others is a way to help yourself. We think work and play are separate. You work hard and feel stressed. But work is also a way to express yourself fully, to give, to be joyful, to love.

If someone asks you, “What is the cosmos?” hold up a leaf, or show them your hand.

These are keys that can unlock the prison of your mind. Good work, generosity, simple pleasures, along with time in nature and doing what you love are ways to break the repetitive thinking and find peace.

Stuck In a Rut? Ask For Divine Guidance to Ignite Your Passion + Find Your Purpose

Every day is a chance to help. Every task is an opportunity to give. It’s not your job that makes you tired, it’s how you work. Do you work because you have to, or do you use it as an opportunity to express generosity and love?

The more you give, the closer you come to your true self. You’re not who you think you are. You feel depressed because you think you’re an individual. You are not one leaf, but all the leaves of a tree.


Truly, We Are All One – Each of Us Is an Integral Part of the Community

Your feelings are not just yours. They’re also mine. Your suffering and your happiness are also mine. Your emotions are asking you to look deeply. Am I an individual?

Giving helps you grow, and it brings you home to yourself. Home is where you feel the love of the whole community.

But you are an integral part of the community. We are all in this together. Accept the gift of happiness from me, and from life, and then pay it forward to others.

You are an integral part of the community.

When you do, everything will change. The cloud will lift. When your heart is filled with generosity, you’ll understand why you are here, why you’re alive. This is a huge question that can only be answered when your mind is clear and your heart is steady.

Wait! Wait until you feel like yourself again, not someone’s idea of how you’re supposed to be, how you’re not good enough. You are good enough. You’re perfect!

Adapted from the motivational book Wait: A Love Letter to Those in Despair by Cuong Lu © 2021 by Cuong Lu. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

This article has been read 205 times. Share it and spread the love!


wonderful comments!

Cuong Lu

Cuong Lu is a Buddhist teacher ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village. He served as a monk for 16 years and now teaches in the Netherlands, where he lives with his wife and three children. A former prison chaplain, he is the author of The Buddha in Jail.


shop background image
Explore our premium on-demand classes
with world-class instructors.

Psst. Every class you take helps plant a food-producing tree.

See the classes
Mind, body & life wellness in your inbox.


Send this to a friend
Follow us on Close

Create Your FREE Account

Woohoo! You’re about to unlock unlimited articles, exclusive
community content, and select on-demand yoga and fitness classes.


Lost password?