Tong Len

Tong Len is one of the most powerful and simple practices, one of the many from the Tibetan tradition.

1. Breathe in the suffering of others in the form of black smoke.
2. Allow it to transform in yourself, from darkness (suffering) to golden light (clarity and wisdom).
3. Breathe out clarity and wisdom in the form of golden light, and see how it transforms those receiving it.

It is often recommended to start with oneself and those close to oneself, and then expand out to the whole Earth and universe. It is profoundly transformative.

I sometimes find that if I stay with the focus on the inbreath for several breaths, and then the outbreath for several breaths, it helps me deepen the experience. I can then shift to the exchange following every breath.

There is often some resistance when people first encounter this practice. And this resistance comes from awareness being exclusively identified with the small self. From this view, there is this one small self wanting to resist the suffering of others and hold onto the little clarity and wisdom it seems to have. When it awakens to Big Mind, we see that nothing really happens. You – as Big Mind – already is all the suffering and all the clarity and wisdom.

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