Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist practice for developing compassion by giving and receiving. The purpose is to reduce selfishness, purify karma, and to develop and expand loving kindness. The Dalai Lama is said to practice tonglen daily, and Pema Chodren has written and talked about it.
Start by sitting or lying quietly, and begin to observe the breath. On the next inhale, imagine breathing in the pain of other people, people whose pain is very real to you in some way. This could be an individual you know, one you know of, or a group of people such as refugees or schoolchildren or your family. Breath in with the longing to relieve their suffering
Then, when you exhale, send out with your breath to that person or group comfort and happiness, love and joy. Repeat the inhale and exhale, giving and receiving, until you feel your own heart expanding with love.
Being Tantric Daters, we might imagine breathing in the pain and suffering of all the single people who don’t have enough love in our lives, and sending out love and joy and happiness to all.f
© 2017 Catherine Auman