Tibetan for “giving and receiving,” tonglen is a meditation practice for developing love and compassion. It is a very efficient method for transforming egocentric perspectives and suffering into increased compassion and awareness. The main paradigm in tonglen is that “the other is more important that you.” Thus, we gradually learn how to absorb the suffering of the world in the Heart (the infinite Witness Consciousness) and give back love. In this way, we forget about ourselves—we dissolve in love for others. Tonglen is perhaps the most radical and beautiful way to learn how to let go of cherishing the ego. It is an exercise done at the boundary between the non-dual and dualistic visions. Tonglen is also a way to develop the active power of the Heart, atma shakti (the power of spanda).
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