Helping victims of violenceNovember 20, 2015 | 8 Comments
…which is basically all of us at this point.
After the brutal attacks in Paris last week, like everyone, I felt enraged, grief-stricken, and, perhaps most of all, lost. What could I, one person, do in response to this horror, not to mention other horrors in Beirut, Nigeria, and in the skies above? If only there was some way to bear the unbearable and contribute to the positive energies in our world rather than compound the negative by giving voice to my own aggression, even if its objective is peace.
The practice of tonglen meditation is part of the answer. Tonglen is sometimes translated as the practice of sending and taking. When you do it, you take into yourself the suffering and horror of others (you can do it) and send out to them the power of your strength and goodness. You actually offer to take on suffering and, by way of your willingness to open to it, transform it from poison into medicine.
As I was sitting at my desk after hearing of this event, crying along with so many others, I decided to guide an online tonglen practice, specifically for the people of Paris. I am sharing that audio recording in this blog post, in case you would like to try it. (You can substitute for “Paris” any other group.)
If you do try it, please let me know how it went in comments, below. And thank you, thank you for giving it a try.
May it be of great benefit.