Pain and suffering are inevitable. Everybody including the rich, poor, famous and fruitful goes through it. While it is part of life, there is a substantial way to ease it. I do not mean to tell you to get over the pain but to do the complete opposite of tuning into grief. It could sound ridiculous, but once you manage to do it, it gets a lot easier to handle pain. Then you may ask what the way is? There is a profound technique to aid pain and it is called TONGLEN.
Tonglen is Tibetan for ‘giving and taking’ and it refers to a Buddhist meditation practice. It is a dual action meditation where not only will you be able to heal your pain but to simultaneously heal the negative energy or vibe around you.
So how do you do it?
Firstly when you feel or witness pain, you simply breathe in the pain. You inhale the pain by reminding yourself that you’re not alone in suffering this particular pain, it could be whatever that you are currently going through and tell yourself that many others are going through similar pain and when you exhale, say “may we all be free from suffering.”
You could do this practice anywhere at any given time. For instance, it could be done while you’re on the street or even on the bus. This simple breathing in technique helps because you can be fully present at the moment, and it helps you realize that pain is universal. More importantly, it helps you soften your heart and deepen your compassion which in turn helps you connect to your humanity.
To take this ‘tonglen’ practice to an advanced level you could do it on people who pisses and pushes your buttons the most. Just imagine them going through similar struggles and confusion and genuinely hope the best for them.
In the video below, Marie Forleo who has been featured on Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation shares her knowledge on TONGLEN.