unhinged excerpted from 'the tibetan book of living and dying' by sogyal rinpoche


the best way to do this practice, and any practice of tonglen, is to begin by evoking and resting in the nature of mind. when you rest in the nature of mind and see all things directly as 'empty,' illusory, and dream-like, you are resting in the state of what is known as 'ultimate' or 'absolute Bodhicitta,' the true heart of the enlightened mind. the teachings campare absolute Bodhicitta to an inexhaustible treasury of generosity; and compassion, when understood in its profoundest sense, is known and seen as the natural radiance of the nature of mind, the skillful means that rises from the heart of wisdom.

begin by sitting and bringing the midn home. allow all your thoughts to settle, neither inviting them nor following them. close your eyes if you wish. when you feel really calm and centered, alert yourself slightly, and begin the practice.

1. environmental tonglen
we all know how the moods and atmospheres of our mind have a great hold on us. sit with your mind and feel its mood and atmosphere. if you feel your mood is uneasy, or the atmosphere is dark, then as you breathe in, mentally absorb whatever is unwholesome; and as you breathe out, mentally give out calm, clarity, and joy, so purifying and healing the atmosphere and environment of your mind. this is why i call this first stage of the practice 'environmental tonglen.'

2. self tonglen
for the purposes of this exercise, divide yourself into two aspects, a and b. a is the aspect of you that is whole, compassionate, warm, and loving, like a true friend, really willing to be there for you, responsive and open to you, without ever judging you, whatever your faults or shortcomings.

b is the aspect of you that has been hurt, that feels misunderstood and frustrated, bitter or angry, who might have been, for example, unjustly treated or abused as a child, or has suffered in relationships or been wronged by society.

now, as you breathe in, imagine that a opens his or her heart completely, and warmly and compassionately accepts and embraces all of b's suffering and negativity and pain and hurt. moved by this, b opens his or her heart and all pain and suffering melt away in this compassionate embrace.

as you breathe out, imagine a sending out to b all his or her healing love, warmth, trust, comfort, confidence, happiness, and joy.

3. tonglen in a living situation
imagine vividly a situation where you have acted badly, one about which you feel guilty, and which you wince to even think about.

then, as you breathe in, accept total responsibility for your actions in that particular situation, without in any way trying to justify your behavior. acknowledge exactly what you have done wrong, and wholeheartedly ask for forgiveness. now, as you breathe out, send out reconciliation, forgiveness, healing, and understanding.

so you breathe in blame, and breathe out the undoing of harm; you breathe in responsibility, breathe out healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

this exercise is particularly powerful, and may give you the courage to go see the person whome you have wronged, and the strength and willingness to talk to them directly and actually ask for forgiveness from the depths of your heart.

4. tonglen for others
imagine someone to whom you feel very close, particularly someone who is suffering and in pain. as you breathe in, imagine you take in all their suffering and pain with compassion, and as you breathe out, send your warmth, healing, love, joy, and happiness streaming out to them.

now, just as in the practice of loving kindness, gradually widen the circle of your compassion to embrace first other people whom you also feel very close to, then those whome you feel indifferent about, then those you dislike or have difficulty with, then even those whom you feel are actively monstrous and cruel. allow your compassion to become universal, and to fold in its embrace all sentient beings, all being, in fact without any exception:

sentient beings are aslimitless as the whole of space:
may they each effortlessly realize the nature of their mind,
and may every single being of all the six realms, who has each been in one life or another my father or mother,
attain all together the ground of primordial perfection.

what i have been giving in this section is a complete preliminary practice to the main tonglen, which, as you will see, involves a much richer process of visualization. this preliminary practice works with your attitude of mind and heart, and prepares, opens, and inspires you. not only does it in its own right, enable you to heal the environment of your mind, your own suffering, and the pain of the past, and to begin to help, through your compassion, all sentient beings; but it also establishes and makes you intimate and familiar with the process of giving and receiving that finds its complete expression in the main practice of tonglen.

--- sogyal rinpoche, 'the tibetan book of living and dying'
unhinged this really works; i wanted to post it here for you guys cause ever since i discovered it, it has helped me immensely. not to say i don't have shitty days anymore; yesterday was evidence to the contrary of that. but we are the architects of our reality. if you fill your mind with compassion, it truly does chase away the darkness. 040828
Yahoo! Search Tonglen - taking and sending

God give us rain when we expect sun.
Give us music when we expect trouble.
Give us tears when we expect breakfast.
Give us dreams when we expect a storm.
Give us a stray dog when we expect congratulations.
God play with us, turn us sideways and around. Michael Leunig

This practice is in an ancient Tibetan tradition and one perhaps known to Michael Leunig.

Western thought can embrace it through chaos theory: just as a butterfly flapping its wings in the northern hemisphere could lead to a hurricane in the southern hemisphere, with this practice we can contribute to change in the psychological and spiritual climate on the other side of the world.
gif 040831
kx21 God_does_play_dice...

And the "M" of God's Dice:-

"Butterfly_effect" across_the_Universe, specifically the Human_Spaces on Earth ...
:) Amen. 040831
One OM_ma_ne_padme_hum...

god nice. 051228
unhinged the_fundamental_interconnectedness_of_all_things

the difference between western chaos theory and the eastern theory of interconnectedness is that in the eastern mode of thought it is not at all haphazard. the belief of reincarnation connects us all in a solid real way; at one point we were the mother of all other beings just as they were our mother. would you pass your mother by on the street if she asked you for some change or a cigarette? would you kill your mother because she landed on your arm and was about to bite you? in other words, we should love all beings like they are our mother, because in the buddhist belief system they were and they will be again.

and in the modern world, we are connected to a damn lot of people through the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the shelter we use. without the people that made the clothes, distributed them, sold them, grew the food, possibly processed it, shipped it, stocked it, sold it....we would not have clothes or food. and it's hard to say when you walk down the street which one of those strangers you passed had something to do with that: your comfort and well being.

some buddhists think jesus was a bodhisattva. his bodhisattva_vow : 'love thy neighbor'

not just the neighbor you chat with over the fence
not just the neighbor that takes care of your cat while you're on vacation
but the neighbor who glares at you from across the street
whose dog shits in your yard and he doesn't clean it up
whose garage light with the motion sensor shines in your bedroom window at night everytime a car drives by and he refuses to change it

expand your circle of love
marked . 070412
Lemon_Soda Thank you for this. 081112
In_Bloom Beautiful
Back to back
I breathe you in
I project us out

*misses this*
unhinged 160907
unhinged (have i really been on this path for over a decade now? the record i have of it here has amazed me recently. and there are tangible results.

i don't smoke cigarettes anymore
i don't drink alcohol habitually anymore

i can work through the pain of my depression
without hurting myself physically, chemically and mentally now

and this practice started it on some level and has continued it to the point that i can smile even when my heart is breaking. that i can forgive someone even while letting_go of their place in my life. that i can find strength in my inner resources rather than searching for external means.

ah ah ah

what a relief)
unhinged ok trump

hear you go

i breathe in your ignorance, hate, selfishness
and give you
knowledge, love, and compassion

just putting it out there in the universe
unhinged left_field

hits me with the clarity
of a thunderbolt to the head

after years of practice
the accumulation of aeons
is handed to me
like a birthright
a psalm_of_devotion
actually heard
and returned

(words once again are shallow)
unhinged self_loss 190221
unhinged i turn on my heart light as i walk from the busstop to my toxic corporate job. it helps. it helps me and everyone i have contact with. 191205
what's it to you?
who go