There’s this sense of powerlessness mixed with fear and anxiety taking hold of many, myself included. So it’s not by coincidence that every yoga class I attended this past week included Tonglen meditation, a Buddhist practice of loving kindness.
Different than the Metta meditation, the one where you offer up words of love and kindness to everyone (May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be at ease.) Tonglen is the practice of breathing in the suffering or pain of another then breathing out compassion. It’s a give and receive practice working to spread empathy.
It can be heavy — taking in the suffering of another is no small feat. And if you’re not thorough in the letting go part — releasing the suffering — you can end up carrying that pain around with you all day.
Here’s how to practice Tonglen meditation:
While this may not be a solution for the hatred that exists in the world today, it is a small, totally do-able way to help spread peace.
So there actually is something you can do.
What is your experience with Tonglen meditation or any Buddhist meditation?