When we are healthy, well in our bodies and in our heads, it is very rare that we really think about the pain of others, and it is very difficult to imagine the suffering that people patients endure daily . When we face the disease, we have the opportunity to become aware of the suffering endured by others by uniting with them by practicing tonglen .
What is tonglen?
Tonglen means “ take and give ” in Tibetan.
Tonglen is a practice radically opposed to our tendency or even our reflex to seek pleasure and avoid pain. By practicing Tonglen, we take the suffering of others and we give them our love .
How to practice it?
In case you have a disease that causes you worry and suffering, focus as intensively as possible on all people in the world suffering from the same ills as you. Do you say, “May I take upon myself the suffering of all beings afflicted with this disease, may they be free from all their suffering, with all your compassion.”
Then imagine that the disease leaves the body by visualizing it in the form of smoke. Concentrate on your breathing. When you inhale, you inhale all their suffering. When you exhale, you send healing and the well-being that you want.
For this practice to be effective, it is imperative to have the firm belief to help those for whom you do it, and to help yourself as well. If a small part of you doubts or does not want to treat others or yourself, this method will not work.
May this practice of meditation free you from your ills and may your will remove the ills of others.