Tonglen is a meditation practice that is part of the lojong tradition. In short it involves alternating breathing in and out, and when one breathes out one wishes others to have relief from suffering, difficulties, and the like. But when one breathes in, one wishes and visualizes that the suffering and difficulties of others leave them and enter you. So one alternates between wishing the suffering of the world could be taken by you instead, and that others would have relief. This is the reverse of the usual ego based logic and undermines ego in that way.
Some versions of tonglen include a visualization where one sees darkness and invites feelings of claustrophobia during the in-breath and then sees lightness and fresh air being sent out. The practice also begins with a flash on space, or absolute bodhicitta.
To learn how to practice tonglen, ask for instruction in the practice from a Shambhala meditation instructor.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
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Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
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- sending and taking
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- taking, see
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