Meditation: Tonglen

Tara Brach leads a guided Meditation: Tonglen. The natural suffering we encounter is the gateway to compassion. Let loving awareness takeover and let loose of all resisting.

Tonglen is a Tibetan practice of giving and receiving that helps to awaken our innate capacity for compassion. In this meditation by Tara Brach, which she describes as a version of Tonglen meditation, we are guided into a deep and open awareness of the places within us that are calling for our attention. Where are we caught in repetition, resistance, or suffering?

Gateways Into Compassion

Brach explains how the suffering that we experience in life is a gateway into compassion. As we find the courage to meet whatever challenge or discomfort is present within us, the experience begins to transform into something different – into compassion. Contrary to our human tendency to pull away from what is painful, this practice invites us to move more deeply into the experience. Where the felt experience is challenging, we can ease and facilitate our movement into a place of compassion by resting the hand on the heart or by focusing on the out breath, releasing whatever energies may be caught within us.

Collective Suffering and Compassion

In this meditation, we move first through our own experience of suffering and then expand our field of awareness, coming into contact with our humanity’s collective suffering. As we practice giving compassion to the collective, and to particular individuals in our lives who we know are struggling, we awaken the compassionate heart within us. We can also feel the vast openness of aware

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About the Author Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]

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