All posts tagged: tonglen meditation

Tonglen Meditation 101

Last week, I introduced Tonglen Meditation in my yoga classes. It’s a Tibetan Buddhist practice that uses the breath in an act of giving and receiving. I talked about the samskaras I had been facing, and in an effort to really understand and feel compassion for my 3-year-old (rather than lashing out at him when he has a tantrum), I turned to Tonglen and my breath to offer love and kindness toward him. The idea of Tonglen Meditation is to use each inhale to focus on someone or a group of people who are suffering. This someone could even be you. How to: Pema Chodron talks about doing this practice not only for your loved ones. You can use Tonglen to send compassion to other parts of the world, like the Syrian refugees who need kindness and generosity the world over right now. You can even use it on your “enemies” – someone who has hurt you or done wrong to you. Their suffering is coming out in harmful ways, and even though you were a victim …

Yoga sequence: Identifying Samskaras

This has been an especially trying week for some reason. The Big Kid is really giving his last few weeks of being a three-nager everything he’s got. He’s been screaming at me. Everything is bothering him – he doesn’t like the music on the radio, the a/c is blowing too hard, he doesn’t want to brush his teeth, his socks are too tight, his socks are too loose, I cut his food all wrong, he’s not tired, he IS tired, he’s hungry, he’s not hungry, “go away, mommy,” “I don’t like you, mommy”… And every time I hear the whining or the yelling or the complaining, I find my blood pressure start to rise. My energy starts to spike along with him until we’re both frazzled at the ends. I realized in those moments that I was falling into my samskaras — behavioral patterns like the grooves in a record. I was on auto-pilot; the needle kept playing from the same spot. I would get triggered by his tantrum, and I myself would have a tantrum. The cycle was endless. We …

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