The Tibetan Buddhist practice of tonglen, or “sending out and taking in”, inverts our habitual tendencies: it asks us to breathe in what is difficult and painful, and in return give away healing and comfort. Perhaps a daunting prospect at first yet when carefully attended, the effect is radically empowering. The embodied lesson: our hearts not only have the capacity to handle suffering, they can, in collaboration with the breath, become a source of resilience.
In this guided meditation, environmental leader Dekila Chungyalpa, leads us in a tonglen practice that integrates the full web of life. With a foundation of gratitude, she invites us to take in the pain of environmental destruction and send out compassionate, empowered well-being.
See the companion piece to this practice, an interview with Dekila for the Tricycle Magazine podcast. Dekila will also be our featured guest in the upcoming August EcoDharma Exploration into this and related territory.