“When you practice by yourself, be sure to do some sitting meditation both before and after tonglen. If you only have a short time to practice, it would probably be better just to sit. Here is a possible schedule for a one-hour practice session:
To begin, you could chant the Four Limitless Ones, Bodhisattva Vow, and/or Friendliness.
Sit for at least 15 minutes.
Practice tonglen for 10-15 minutes.
Sit for at least 10 minutes.
To end, you could chant the Dedication of Merit.”
Maybe you don’t have an hour a day. I know I often don’t with everything I have going on in my life. So, maybe use this as a guideline for a weekly 1-hour schedule, a mini-mini retreat for yourself.
Studies in neuroscience show that even 1-2 minutes a day makes a difference so don’t ever feel like if you don’t have time you should just pack it in for the day. Take your 1-2 minutes.
As you become familiar with the practices, you will start to do some on-the-spot practicing in the moment it’s needed.
Also, remember this is from her book on Tonglen. (More about the actual practice later this week). You can do 5 minutes of metta meditation or 3 minutes breath counting.. a few minutes of deep breathing, etc. The opportunities for practice are endless.
You can also check out Meditations in a New York Minute: Super Calm for the Super Busy by Mark Thornton at http://www.soundstrue.com. He was a bit fast-paced for me and my life isn’t anything like that of a former investment banker. But if time is not your ally, check it out.
- Training the Heart Muscle (thecarrotseeddotcom.wordpress.com)
- Tonglen for the Dying (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- Book Review: The Buddha Walks into a Bar by Lodro Rinzler (zenfant.wordpress.com)
- Meditation, the B52s, and Spaciousness. ~ Chad Woodland (elephantjournal.com)
- The International Symposia for Contemplative Studies and Naropa (boulderbuddhistscam.wordpress.com)
- Secrets of Shambhala – There is only Love (007blueray.wordpress.com)
- Finding the Strength to Feel Fear and Self-Doubt (threedeelife.com)
- Working with conflict (beyondmeds.com)
- Escaping the world on solo retreats (seattletimes.nwsource.com)