A human being is part of a whole, called by us, "universe", limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of this consciousness. This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty.
- Albert Einstein
The core teachings of Zen are based on two things. First, through practice, we look through our delusions to see we are not just separate personalities operating independently of each other. When we realize this a sense of generosity and joy appear. Secondly, when we feel this joy, we begin to suffer less and we lessen the suffering of others. They become more joyful and generous too.