Tonglen meditation

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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DiamondMeru
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Tonglen meditation

Post by DiamondMeru » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:15 am

I am a very sensitive person who picks up on others people’s pains just normally, so I was wondering if there is any danger in doing this practice if one already suffers from chronic pain conditions?

My dog Is dying and is in discomfort, I would like to relieve his pain. He has cancer and is in the early stages of heart failure. He also has severe arthritis pain. The vet still thinks he has months to live.
I can say I feel his fear and discomfort in my heart already. I just fear breathing in the black smoke and pain part of the meditation. How can I overcome this fear?
~Homage to you, Tara, upon whom the kings of the assembled gods The gods themselves, and all kinnaras rely; Whose magnificent armor gives joy to all, You who dispel all disputes and bad dreams.~

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Tonglen meditation

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:12 am

Overcome it by being present with your dog and practicing for him and all sentient beings, take in your own fear and hesitation when you do the practice, along with your dogs pain.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

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DiamondMeru
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Re: Tonglen meditation

Post by DiamondMeru » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:09 pm

Thank you, I did overcome my fear just because I felt I was suffering because my dog was sufffering, so we should suffer together even if the Tonglen failed we would suffer in compassion together.
I did practice with this video

I was afraid there might be danger in taking in black smoke, but upon completion of visualizing Shakyamuni sending rays of cleansing light I immediately felt better after meditation. My dog seems a little better. It is definitely a good way to overcome fear of pain.
I just wonder if this is dangerous for unprepared people to practice, as I have just learned about it from Pema Chodron’s books and lectures. One article online says that if you are not an experienced Vipassana Meditator you can get sick or attract the seed of karma that brings suffering into your life, so I was concerned.
Thank you.
~Homage to you, Tara, upon whom the kings of the assembled gods The gods themselves, and all kinnaras rely; Whose magnificent armor gives joy to all, You who dispel all disputes and bad dreams.~

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Tonglen meditation

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:23 pm

DiamondMeru wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:09 pm
Thank you, I did overcome my fear just because I felt I was suffering because my dog was sufffering, so we should suffer together even if the Tonglen failed we would suffer in compassion together.
I did practice with this video

I was afraid there might be danger in taking in black smoke, but upon completion of visualizing Shakyamuni sending rays of cleansing light I immediately felt better after meditation. My dog seems a little better. It is definitely a good way to overcome fear of pain.
I just wonder if this is dangerous for unprepared people to practice, as I have just learned about it from Pema Chodron’s books and lectures. One article online says that if you are not an experienced Vipassana Meditator you can get sick or attract the seed of karma that brings suffering into your life, so I was concerned.
Thank you.
I cannot imagine it's any more dangerous than how many people grieve, simply sinking into misery and loss without any connection to who they are losing, nor making aspirations that their pain and passing be meaningful. So i'd say it's more dangerous to just grieve "normally" than to practice Tonglen as you are now. That doesn't accord with mundane ideas of what is dangerous, but I think it accords with the Mahayana, where self-grasping is the real danger. Some people might not be ready/capable at the time of doing the practice of course.

You can't bring 'the seed of suffering' into yourself by performing an altruistic act. If you are worried about being "tainted" by Tonglen, the only thing that taint you by my understanding or make the practice "fail" is practicing without Bodhicitta motivation.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

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WeiHan
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Re: Tonglen meditation

Post by WeiHan » Sat May 05, 2018 2:12 pm

DiamondMeru wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:09 pm
Thank you, I did overcome my fear just because I felt I was suffering because my dog was sufffering, so we should suffer together even if the Tonglen failed we would suffer in compassion together.
I did practice with this video

I was afraid there might be danger in taking in black smoke, but upon completion of visualizing Shakyamuni sending rays of cleansing light I immediately felt better after meditation. My dog seems a little better. It is definitely a good way to overcome fear of pain.
I just wonder if this is dangerous for unprepared people to practice, as I have just learned about it from Pema Chodron’s books and lectures. One article online says that if you are not an experienced Vipassana Meditator you can get sick or attract the seed of karma that brings suffering into your life, so I was concerned.
Thank you.
My understanding and what I learnt about this practice is diagonally opposite from what you understood. As far as i understand, only a Bhumi level bodhisattva can really performed a successful tonglen i.e. really taking suffering from beings and having the manifestation on his own body. And they are not afraid that it happens, they'll pray and be happy that it indeed happened.

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