tonglen for japan

the bodhisattva of compassion
mt. koya, japan

the news of japan's devastation is overwhelming.

when a event of this magnitude occurs, my brain has a difficult time comprehending it and my heart has a difficult time processing it.

when this happens, i try to be conscious of it and not shut down or get stuck.

to help myself connect rather than run and hide, i have been practicing tonglen. it's a meditation in which you breathe in suffering and breathe out healing.

i learned tonglen when i first started teaching and could hardly bear the sadness and suffering of my students. it has been a very important practice for me, and i am calling upon it in this difficult time.

for more information about tonglen, here are two beautiful descriptions from pema chodron and the shambala sunspace blog (via @zenpeacekeeper).

if you would like to donate directly to the relief efforts, the google crisis response project is a great place to do so.


Sarah said...

Tonglen sounds beautiful, I'll definitely be researching it as I've been aching for some form of meditation.

I take on people's sadness and problems as my own, so I like the idea of taking them in and breathing out goodness. Beautiful. ♥

angelina la dawn said...

what an absolutely lovely concept! thank you for sharing. i will definitely be checking this out.

Lorena :: Travel Designery said...

wow, i've never heard of tonglen.. that's quite an interesting practice..thanks for sharing!

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

oh diane, i know exactly what you mean. it's just awful watching all the footage but can't seem to look away. i remember living in toronto when 9/11 happened and being so close to NY. it was as if i could feel all the souls circling around the world on their way out. i've never felt something that profound before.

my heart breaks for Japan and my prayers have been for them. this practice you have going sounds very soothing, will read more on it, thanks for the link. ♥

diane said...

sarah...yes, as an empathic person i think you would benefit from this practice. i hope you try it! <3

angelina...thank you + welcome to the inn.

lorena...hello! lovely to 'meet' you.

lynn...my pleasure, dear friend. you are an amazing being + i am deeply happy that we have connected via the interwebs. xo