Thread: Meditation
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #30
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Re: Meditation

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Tonglen might be a good practice for you. Sit and breathe in all the negativity in the world, then breathe out loving kindness to all beings, if you like. Do that 20 minutes daily for a month, then see how your life has improved while you were distracted. It will. Compassion is absolutely free to give away, but it pays huge dividends.
With all due respect, I would point out that tonglen is regarded as a relatively advanced practice in the Tibetan tradition, and is traditionally thought to require a sound grounding in both shamatha and vipassana meditative practice as well as a basic understanding of the principle of voidness as taught in that tradition.

The reason is simple: there's a lot of negativity in the world and many people can find this kind of practice quite overwhelming.

If you have benefited from this practice, that's great. But it's not a form of meditative practice I would recommend out of the gate, unless I knew the individual personally, had a clear indication it was appropriate to that individual, and could direct him/her to a qualified teacher with whom regular contact would occur, who has a bit of experience with what to do if the practice starts to overwhelm the practitioner.

If someone reading your post finds themselves inexplicably attracted to tonglen practice, I would advise those individuals to see if they can find a qualified instructor with whom they feel comfortable and with whom they can have regular contact before embarking on that form of practice.

Better safe than sorry.

Best,

Fred Little

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