Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/23/2018

It Works

Despite the fact that tonglen is a technique that is never mentioned in Pali Canon, I seem to have faith in it and a number of other Mahayana practices. I can’t explain it rationally but I have found myself consistently drawn to lojong and tonglen and have always been inspired by teachers like Shantideva, Atisha and others.

To the point : This morning I was practicing tonglen for a truly close and difficult person in my life. As I was breathing in her suffering it began to occur to me that the pain she was causing others will be the cause for her to experience even more suffering in the future. A true feeling of compassion arose and a desire to help her was paired with it. I have to admit that I was taken aback when I realized that this practice works. One can feel true compassion for those who hurt and belittle one. No, or doesn’t make it easier to be around then but it changes one’s perspective. I am grateful for her help and hope that she is blessed with fortunate circumstances as a result.


  1. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu _()_

  2. Not too long ago I found myself in a jail waiting room once, sometimes twice, a week. Around that time I was reading a book by Pema Chodron and found out about tonglen. Needless to say, the waiting room of a jail is filled with suffering people and the practice helped to not only endure the situation, but to generate compassion for everyone involved.

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