With deep gratitude to the Teachers and Teachings that brought Tonglen Practice into my life.
“Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior
can make a proper cup of tea.”
― Chögyam Trungpa
“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”
― Pema Chödrön
Yet, I had noticed that they are predicting sunshine and a temperature of 45° the day after tomorrow!
Immediately thoughts arise and I notice myself face to face with the spectre of Global Warming. My heart aches as a deep sadness emerges.
Allowing these thoughts to dissolve, knowing that others feel this sadness also, I breath the fullness of this feeling into my heart as I recite two of the traditional Brahmavihara phrases: "May all beings be safe. May all beings be free of suffering and the roots of suffering".
As the in-breath continues, I notice a sense of spaciousness re-emerge as first my belly, then my rib cage expands. My tender, warm, achy breaky heart is comforted in the embrace of a calm, clear, expansive open awareness that seemingly extends throughout and beyond space and time as the in-breath continues.
As in-breath becomes out-breath, the words "May all beings be at peace" float on that breath as it dissolves into the Essential Oneness, radiating outward on the wings of a translucent visualization of the clear and brilliant eyes of countless beings gleaming in full awareness of their Buddhanature.
All is calm, all is bright.
The words of this traditional Christmas carol ring through my consciousness, whispering of the vast expansiveness of the One Love which resides deep within us -- and infinitely beyond us.
As we turn toward the celebrations of this holiday season, may we all rest in the embrace of this One Love.
Sitting here now, I renew my vow to be clear enough and kind enough to help bring about the changes needed to create a sustainable, cooperative, peaceful world.
(For more on Tonglen Practice, see The Practice of Tonglen by Pema Chodron)