The Way we Should

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The attitude, manner and behaviour of one as we interact with sentient beings while walking along The Way or The Path leading to Enlightenment, is not meant to be done with pride or superior thinking.
This would lead one to karmic entanglement, as deluded views are many in this physical, samsaric world.
In effect, one needs to be compassionate, kind and humble. Each helpful deed and/or mediating act (yes, mediating – to aid all beings to be free from suffering) aught to be done with gentleness and loving-kindness.
A true healing technique for the world is delivered when one meditates on loving-kindness or practices Tonglen. *see below
This act is always anonymous but works for the greater good, which translates into the liberation of any and all sentient beings.

Traditional “Sending and Taking” Tonglen Instructions
(given by Ven. Pema Chodren)

Sending and Taking is a very important practice of the Bodhisattva path. Tonglen is a Tibetan word meaning ‘tong’- sending out or letting go and ‘len’ – receiving or accepting.
Tonglen is the main practice for developing relative Bodhicitta (awakening)

The practice of Tonglen has four basic stages. It is a sitting meditation practice.

1. First, rest your mind briefly, for a second or two, in a state of openness or stillness. This stage is traditionally called flashing on absolute Bodhicitta, or suddenly opening to basic spaciousness and clarity.
2. Second, work with texture. Breathe in a feeling of hot, dense, smoky, and heavy, (claustrophobia) and breathe out a feeling of cool, bright, and light (freshness). Breathe in completely, through all the pores of your body, and breathe out, radiate out completely, through all the pores of your body. Do this until it feels synchronized with your in and out breaths.
3. Third, work with a personal situation – any painful situation that’s real to you. Traditionally you do Tonglen for someone you care about and wish to help – child, family member, pet. Recollect someone dear to you for whom you would naturally take on their suffering, lifting it from them if it were possible. However, if you are stuck, you can do the practice for the pain you are feeling and simultaneously for all those just like you who feel that kind of suffering.
4. Finally, expand the situation, make the taking in and sending out bigger. If you are doing Tonglen for someone you love, extend it out to those in the same situation. If you are doing it for someone you see on the street, do it for all the others in the same boat. Make it bigger than just that one person. If you are doing Tonglen for all those who are feeling fear or anger or whatever that you are trapped in, maybe that’s big enough. But you could go bigger in all these cases. You could do Tonglen for people you consider to be your enemies, those who hurt you or hurt others. Do Tonglen for them, thinking of them as having the same confusion and stuckness as your friend or yourself.
As you do this practice, gradually at your own pace, you will be surprised to find yourself more and more able to be there for others even in what used to seem like impossible situations.

For true mind reformation, repeat this often.

A little reminder: one should not force one’s well-intentioned acts of aiding or helping others. Assist if you can and must, but know when to walk away.

Tara

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