Tonglen Practice To Heal Your Mind.

TONGLEN practice is an empowering transformation meditation aimed at dissolution of self-centeredness and isolation. Its premise is to use one's current state of emotion or circumstance as a turning point of transformation from being a victim to being a generator of loving-kindness for others. The resultant internal process induces a very powerful transformative effect distinct among spiritual wellness methods.

Tonglen practice is an ancient spiritual method of generating compassion and kindness towards other people, thus cultivating direct healing experience within one's own mind — compassionate and honest relationship with yourself. 

As humans we all share the essence of the feelings even though the languages and the stories might be different. Tonglen practice encourages you to discover your own humanness and accept it. Our experiences might be different, but the feelings are the same. The feeling of anger that I might experience right now is the same as it was experienced by men hundred years ago. Loneliness and depression are felt the same no matter what triggered it.

Instead of running away from uncomfortable feelings, Tonglen practice points to realization that the same feelings are shared by millions of other people and we are not so alone in our experience. 

In this practice you consciously breath in the current feelings for your sake and others and send out the feelings that would bring relief for you being in this situation, something joyful, uplifting and loving.

It is a healing practice that induces you to be more open in your mind and be more relaxed in your body and to have a fuller acceptance of yourself, — unconditional friendship with yourself.

When we do Tonglen with the intention for others, the experience of it takes place with a space of our own mind. If we honestly wish for better things to others: blessings, strength, freedom from pain and conditions for happiness, our mind gets to experience them first.

Our good words, positive emotions and feelings of acceptance of pain and disturbance we "send" to others in this practice is registered in our mind as reality of ourselves and we end up experiencing positive feelings and emotions of acceptance we wish for others.

The Tonglen on the spot is powerful in the immediacy of the effect on your spiritual well-being. As you agree to go into the depth of the feelings present with intention for the benefit of all experiencing the same feelings. 

As soon as you engage Tonglen practice, what is immediately taking place is that you are dropping resistance toward whatever unpleasant feelings that are present. What naturally begins occurring is a loosening of the acuteness of the feeling, and aggravation begins to subside.

PERSONAL EXAMPLE OF TONGLEN PRACTICE ON THE SPOT


On the opposite side of feelings, when you have a pleasant experience and you do Tonglen practice wishing to share uplifted feelings with others, it works as a remedy to shed clinging and gain equanimity — a state of balanced mind.

Pain or feeling of loneliness is exacerbated once we resist its presence or other feelings that we judge as those that "shouldn't be here". By doing Tonglen practice we erase the separation between us and the feeling, ourselves and others and it gradually feels okay, — we experience healing consciousness of loving and compassion toward ourselves — the actual place of experience.

STAGES OF TONGLEN PRACTICE

  1. When things hurt and you feel emotional discomfort, you think to yourself: "other people feel this". Since you already feel this, you invoke desire to take on this feelings for the sake of others:"May I feel this, so the others will be free of it..."
  2. Move your awareness in your heart area and breathe deeply into the heart. Imagine that your heart becomes a source of luminous white light. As you breathe into it, the heart glows with light. 

    Now imagine the heavy uncomfortable feelings or pain that you are feeling now are like dark cloud-like formations. Imagine as you breathe in, you inhale these cloudy dark feelings away into your heart. As the dark feelings settle into your heart, imagine that they are getting burned up like cotton balls, disappearing without a trace into the light of your heart.
  3. Imagine that you breathe out a cool white light into that person. It is calming, open and refreshing, it takes the place of dark and heavy feeling of pain and discomfort. You may imagine the person being enveloped in the cloud of this cool and comforting light that you breathe out of your heart.
  4. Now extend your imagination to many people having heavy, dark feeling that you experience personally this moment. Imagine as you breathe in, you inhale these cloudy dark feelings away from those people into your heart. As the dark feelings settle into your heart, imagine that they are getting burned up like cotton balls, disappearing without a trace into the light of your heart.
  5. Imagine that you breathe out a cool white light is coming to those persons. It is calming, open and refreshing, it takes the place of dark and heavy feeling of pain and discomfort. You may imagine these persons being enveloped in the cloud of this cool and comforting light that you breathe out of your heart.

People sometimes fear that Tonglen practice will harm them when they imagine breathing in pain, ignorance or illness. In reality it can only help to dissolve the illusion of separateness barriers and ego self-grasping.



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