The Practice of Meditation

Lovingkindness Meditation

Excerpts from “Sacred Practices for Conscious Living” on the topic Lovingkindness followed by a Meditation Exercise

The journey into wholeness brings many unexpected gifts. One of these is compassion. This extraordinary state of being arises spontaneously when we allow ourselves to recognize that we have at least one thing in common with all beings: our capacity to suffer. This realization creates a bridge of understanding between ourselves and others. As we become more whole and acknowledge the inevitability of our inherent imperfection, our capacity for compassion increases. As it does, a sense of connection with others deepens and expands. Within a context of compassion, we tap into a collective human experience and realize that we are not alone in our suffering. The world becomes populated with people whose deepest yearnings for love, comfort, and security aren’t so very different from our own. For this reason, even as the sources of suffering may differ, depending on our culture and life circumstances, we are alike when it comes to the inevitable fact that we all can be touched by feelings and experiences that cause distress. . .
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The Practice of Meditation

Using Mindfulness for Recentering Meditation

Excerpts from “Getting Through the Day”
Followed by: Using Mindfulness for Recentering – a Meditative Exercise

When you are overwhelmed by the past, how can you reclaim your present-day awareness? This question comes up over and over again in the lives of abuse survivors. Being able to recenter yourself and handle life’s challenges effectively is an important element in determining the quality of your day-to-day experience. It also allows you to pace your healing so that you have times when you are free from the intensity and immediacy of past abuse experiences.
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The Practice of Meditation

A Derivation of Tonglen Meditation – A Form of Subtle Activism

One of the practices I have committed to over the years is now called “subtle activism”.  Subtle activism involves any activity we undertake to support positive change that involves prayer, guided imagery, directing intentions to local or global situations, etc.  One of the primary subtle activism practices I have used for many years is a Buddhist practice called Tonglen.

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The Practice of Meditation

Another Version of Tonglen Meditation

Tonglen is a process that invites us to breathe in our own suffering and that of countless others in our world, and then breathe out ease, comfort, peace. Through identifying the negativity and distress around us – recognizing that it is part of the human experience and, as such, not separate from us, along with the fact that many people are also experiencing exactly the suffering or negativity that is the focus of our meditation or experience right now – we diffuse some of the intensity of this suffering and chaos. In the Tonglen process, we breathe into the fire of love in our heart any suffering, distress of whatever kind, and then breathe out – through every pore, from our whole body and then out into the world – ease, calm, comfort, peace, compassion – whatever transforms the suffering we have taken in.
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