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Disease Management: Meditation for When You’re Hurting
Source: Books for Better Living

Tonglen (pronounced TONG-glen) is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice that is really comforting when you’re hurting.

When we’re in pain, we often want to run in the other direction. Tonglen encourages us to sit still with our suffering.

When we’re suffering, we often direct our attention inward, and we overlook how connected we are. Tonglen gives us a way to expand our compassion for others.

It’s a simple meditation – one that you can practice anytime, anywhere.

• Sit comfortably with a straight spine, in a quiet place. Breathe naturally.

• Allow your thoughts to rest on whatever loss or pain you’ve suffered. Fill your heart with that suffering. This can be very difficult. You may find that you resist. That’s okay. Stay with it, keep trying. Be gentle with yourself.

• Now think of all the people who have suffered in the same way. Be specific. If a loved one has died, think of all the people who have suffered the loss of a loved one. If you’re struggling with illness, think of all the people who have struggled with illness.

• As you inhale, think of your suffering and the pain of all those who have suffered in the same way. Expand your heart.

• As you exhale, extend peace to all those who have suffered in this way. Fill your breath with the wish that they may be free of that suffering. Release your pain.

• Inhale pain, exhale peace.

Photo Credit: ArTono/


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