Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tonglen


Jan suggested that I practice tonglen. When I read up on it, I realized that I have been doing this without knowing the term. Breathe in whatever suffering, pain that a person is feeling. If the person is yourself, recognize that others are feeling it too and breathe in this collective suffering and when you breathe out breathe out happiness, peace, fulfillment and send it to the person or persons who are suffering. Recognize that we often avoid other people's pain because it highlights a pain that we are feeling within ourselves. Acknowledge that pain.

I often carry the pain of others with me. I breathe it out and wish them peace. What is hard for me is to know when it is time to step back and recognize that I need to take care of myself. It takes a very hurtful comment for me to step back. While the compassion that I feel for the other person makes me want to persevere, I often feel that I persevere for too long and subsequently take on a great deal of added pain. Then what happens is that I carry it around with me. It often manifests itself as a heavy feeling in my chest. I felt this for a month last July when Israel bombed Lebanon and I have been feeling it for the last few weeks for more personal reasons. Knowing that I am not alone in feeling this I breathe it out, and I offer peace and lightness in its place.

As I let go of this heaviness, I must acknowlege the incredible love that surrounds me. I have a father who calls me up after reading my last post and asks if I need to talk. I have long time friends all over the country and world who call me up or e-mail me daily if I need them to and listen with an open heart. I have a team of people with whom I work who I can talk to and that I can listen to when they need me to. And, I have this 21st century concept of the blogosphere and the many friends that I have made through it. I am truly blessed.

I breathe in the deep sadness and heavy heart that we all feel at times, and I breathe out the joy of love, friendship, and compassion and give it to all of you.

3 comments:

Jan said...

Margaret, that must be why I connected tonglen with you--from your posting about doing it!Wishing you peace.

Frida said...

Hi there lovely, if you feel like playing - I tagged you to share eight new things about yourself with your bloggy fans.

x

Frida said...

Hi there lovely, if you feel like playing - I tagged you to share eight new things about yourself with your bloggy fans.

x