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Receiving Care for Yourself and Giving Care to Others

Receiving Care for Yourself and Giving Care to Others. This practice is called tonglen, a Tibetan word that means “giving and receiving.”

The breath can aid your practice in many different ways, including acting as a vehicle toward peace and acceptance.

This practice is called tonglen, a Tibetan word that means “giving and receiving.”

In this meditation, you work with the breath to help cultivate care and loving-kindness toward yourself and those around you.

It is a practice both in mindfulness and compassion.

As you move through this exercise, notice any resistance that arises.

When the mind wanders, bring it back to the body breathing.

Gently close the eyes and bring your attention to the present moment.

Notice where you are.

What can you feel in the body?

What can you hear?

Where are you?

There’s no need to do anything other than observe your present-time experience in this moment.

Bring your awareness to a location in the body where you can feel the breath.

For this practice, the chest works well.

Be with the body breathing for a minute, feeling the inhalations and exhalations as they come and go.

Start the giving and receiving with an intention of self-acceptance.

As you breathe in, visualize yourself breathing in acceptance.

Receiving Care for Yourself and Giving Care to Others

As you exhale, let go of self-judgment.

Breathe like this for a few deep breaths.

Begin offering yourself some ease and peace with each inhale.

Let go of stress and anxiety with each exhale.

You may try the visualization of breathing in a light of ease, while exhaling the darkness of stress.

Now inhale and offer yourself forgiveness.

You do not need to go into any stories or rationalizations about this;
just set the intention to forgive yourself.

As you exhale, let go of resentment.

Letting go of the forgiveness and resentment, picture yourself surrounded by people you love.

Return to the first part of working with acceptance and judgment, but this time, flip it around.

When inhaling, take in the pain of others as they judge themselves.

When exhaling, offer acceptance to your loved ones.

Continue to inhale the stress and anxiety in others, and give ease and peace as you exhale.

Hold space for their stress, but don’t take it on yourself.

By receiving, you’re just recognizing with compassion that others have difficult experiences as well.

Finally, inhale and tune in to the resentments these people have toward themselves.

Exhale and radiate forgiveness for these individuals.

When 10 minutes have passed, allow the eyes to gently open.

Let the body resume normal breathing.

Remember, you can return to this practice at any point in your day.


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