A Quote by Marc Ian Barasch on tonglen, meditation, compassion, and love

Sometimes when I begin tonglen meditation, I feel a wild surge of resistance, a fear of (there is no other way to put this) contamination. The unhappiness of others feels contagious: I don't want to inhale their cooties. But when it “works,” the practice is so rewarding that I'm ready to throw myself in again. To stop dodging people's misery and discord, to discover that I can give of myself with each breath and not feel depleted (in fact, to feel oddly nourished) is a revelation. When I can stay with it, I notice I don't feel so guarded; my borders seem more porous. I'm less inclined to hold people at arms' length. I admit to sometimes finding tonglen a challenge that I don't have the spiritual chutzpah to meet. But at best I find the technique radically simple and simply radical: an imaginative leap into otherness.

Marc Barasch

Source: The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness

Contributed by: Siona