Placing undue emphasis on any pole in duality — even the noble poles of compassion, kindness, and love — always causes problems. As the Buddha once said, "Compassion doesn't always wear a smile." Things are of mixed quality here and we are wise to learn to see "this" in "that" and "that" in "this."

Togetherness is very important. Relationship is very important. At the same time, if we have not developed enough of ourselves internally, we can easily lose ourselves in others. Easily. And if we get lost in another, we put ourselves on a path that leads to pain and heartache, as many of us are all too familiar with.

Time alone is required to become, "all one." Before togetherness and before relationship, we must establish a baseline understanding of who we are, which can only be truly accomplished in silence and solitude.

Properly established, in relationship, I am me and you are you, and we are we. We do not lose touch of our essential aloneness and we do not get lost in togetherness—we "inter-be."

Inter-Beingness is replete in nature. Look around. See how the sky, clouds, trees, ocean, birds, plants, insects, grass, and so on all have highly individualistic identities and are in profound relationship with one another. Nature is this and that, at the same time. This can be our model.

Alone is another form of togetherness–togetherness with yourself. It need not be feared. It need not be judged.