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Thread: Tonglen Practice Circle - Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

  1. #1

    Tonglen Practice Circle - Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

    Dear Sangha - "old" and New members,

    This Sunday, September 3rd, 2023, there will be another special guided Tonglen Practice Circle for anyone who wishes to do taking and sending practice for themselves and everyone in need.

    For those who may be new to Tonglen Practice and what it's about, Tonglen is an ancient Practice originating in Tibet, but has been adopted by many Zen and other Western Buddhist Sanghas, for the transformation of suffering, anger, sadness and the like within ourselves and in the world, and transforming the same through visualization into peace, joy, acceptance and other positive emotions. To learn more about Tonglen Practice, please visit this link: https://tinyurl.com/Tonglen-Instructions

    This event will occur in the Scheduled Sitting Room (SSR) and last for around 35 minutes.

    The Treeleaf Calendar can be found here: https://www.treeleaf.org/now/#calendar to convert the date to your local time zone.

    The Scheduled Sitting Room can be found here: https://www.treeleaf.org/now/go.php?l=ssr

    The livestream and "any-time" viewing after can be found here:

    ALL are welcome (no prior experience needed!) -- just come sit with us -- we hope to see you there!

    Note: If you have any questions or need assistance with Tonglen Circle, please feel free to contact Meian (Techno-Ino), and they will do their best to help you.

    gassho Washin and the "Tonglen team"
    My life is my temple and my practice.

  2. #2
    Friends, I apologize for my abrupt entrance and departure. I will sit with you later. Thank you.
    Gassho,
    Naiko
    st

  3. #3
    I sat today with the recording. It's been a long time since I did tonglen, but my old struggle returns - for some reason, the visualization aspect of it is difficult. I lose focus, I start to fall asleep, my mind wanders...I don't struggle near so much with zazen.

    Am I alone in this? Does anyone have any tips?

    Sorry for running long.

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by KellyLM View Post
    I sat today with the recording. It's been a long time since I did tonglen, but my old struggle returns - for some reason, the visualization aspect of it is difficult. I lose focus, I start to fall asleep, my mind wanders...I don't struggle near so much with zazen.

    Am I alone in this? Does anyone have any tips?

    Sorry for running long.

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly

    Hi Kelly - thank you for your question and I can relate to your struggle.

    I can only share from my experience, and this is *not* Dharma teaching at all -- it's just me rambling.

    I have difficulty with the visualizations also -- always have -- but with this type of practice, I tend towards focusing on my breath. Meaning that I think of breathing in others' troubles, grief, pain, suffering, etc., and think of breathing out compassion and empathy -- or I just hold the thought of compassion (metta) in mind as I breathe out.

    With neurodegenerative changes plus neurodiverse executive functioning, breathing, focusing, and visualization are very difficult for me to practice now. I mention this because years ago I was able to do this very well - hold visualizations and such - but I have had to adapt to my own changing abilities.

    Sometimes, when that isn't working for me either, then I just hold the thought of compassion/lovingkindness in mind -- in general, to keep it simple -- and focus on breathing compassion.

    Sometimes I have to set time limits for myself also - if my focus is really off on any day, then I just practice for a couple minutes. Other times, if I am more centered, clear, and focused, I consciously practice it more.

    I have had difficulty with visualizing for several years, so this is what I have adapted so far. This is just what works for me, "your mileage may vary."

    Again, please take my words as my own experiences only -- not teachings.

    Sorry for too many words.

    meian
    My life is my temple and my practice.

  5. #5
    Meian, thank you for your words and insight! It occurred to me too, that I should look at it more like zazen - perfection isn't required, and there is no goal. When I catch myself wandering off, I should just come back.

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly

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