you practice more kindness and tolerance, you will find more peace.” The
Tonglen: Exchanging Self for Others
Chodron writes: “Tonglen has to do with
cultivating fearlessness. It opens your heart and gives you courage. In
tonglen, you breathe in pain; you acknowledge the suffering of the
world. You explore the discomfort of the human condition. And
then, with every out breath, you open. You connect with your feelings
of joy, well-being,
satisfaction and tenderheartedness."
"This practice brings the realization
you can feel both suffering and joy – that both are part
of being human. Your heart will open, and you will become less
personal protection. You will cultivate fearlessness and compassion.
And that will be of great benefit to others.”
gives detailed Tonglen practice instruction in her book,
The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path
of Loving Kindness.
And in a CD
called, Good Medicine: How
to Turn Pain into Compassion with Tonglen Meditation.
The Dalai Lama says that
he does Tonglen every day, and in particular for the Chinese officials
who torture and kill
Tibetans. He says: “I
visualize them and draw their ignorance, prejudice, hatred
and pride into myself. I do this with such strong feeling
that if later I hear
about atrocities, the intensity of my own negative feelings
is reduce to the point of groundlessness."
"There are many
Buddhist practices that cannot actually be achieved – like
this one – but are there for developing strong
will and determination and openness. For example, you
actually give away your happiness
and take other’s suffering on yourself. But the
practice will certainly increase your compassion.”
Dalai Lama suggests beginning the practice with “equalizing,” which
means, “to realize that each and every sentient
being wants happiness and does not want suffering,
just like you.” With that in
mind, he imagines that this practice actually reduces
suffering in the world, but he says that “whether
this meditation really helps others or not, it gives
me peace of mind. Then I can be more effective,
the benefit is immense.”
Books Available from Amazon
Wisdom of No Escape And The Path of Loving Kindness, by
Pema Chodron, ($10) and the same book in a pocket edition: Awakening
Loving-Kindness, ($7). This book
is a series of meditation instruction talks by the American Buddhist
nun who is among the most popular modern meditation teachers.
to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life, by the Dalai
Lama ($20) A practical explanation of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation
techniques that includes instructions for several practices.
Medicine: How to Turn Pain Into Compassion with Tonglen Meditation,
by Pema Chodron (CD, $17) Sixteen recorded talks and guided meditation
practices in Pema's charming, intimate style.
Compassion Box by Pema Chodron,($18) comes with a 43-minute
CD with Chodron's spoken instructions on tonglen meditation, a
pocket-sized book, and 59 lojong cards with the teachings on one
side and Chodron's commentary on the other.
Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times,
by Pema Chodron ($13) and on
CD ($24). How to free ourselves to face fear and obstacles,
and offer ourselves unflinchingly to others. The graceful, conversational
tone of Chodron's writing gives the impression of sitting on a
pillow across from Pema herself.
the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness, by
Chogyam Trungpa, ($10). This book introduces and explains 59 slogans
that can be used to breath life into your daily meditation practice.
The Tibetan Government in Exile maintains information
about the Dalai Lama at their site: www.tibet.com
Pema Chodron’s biography and
teaching schedule is on her website: www.gampoabbey.org And
there is also information about Pema through the Shambhala organization: www.shambhala.org
of Chogyam Trungpa The Shambhala organization carries
on his teachings in centers worldwide. www.shambhala.org.
The Insight Meditation Society, founded
by Sharon Salzberg and others, offers training in Loving Kindness
and Vipassana meditation techniques, including Tonglen. Their site
has links to other centers teaching these practices.
The Shambhala organization offers
both Buddhist and Shambhala meditation programs all around the world.
Check the site www.shambhala.org.