Coping With Cancer

Tonglen: An Ancient Eastern Compassion Meditation

By November 12, 2021No Comments

*November 2021*  Provided by Tess Taft, MSW, LICSW, and oncology psychotherapist.©

Since research shows that when we worry about someone we can actually be sending them our fear, this guided imagery is something much more helpful that you can do when you catch yourself worrying about someone, or even yourself.

Begin by getting comfortable, removing your glasses, and gently closing your eyes.

Now, three nice breaths, breathing as deeply as you comfortably can… feeling your body softening….your shoulders dropping just a little….and a little more…bringing your attention to your breath…placing your hands on your lower belly and feeling it move in and out with your breath…your back softening…

Breathing normally now…..imagine a soft light falling from above… like a waterfall of light cascading over you, filling you with its peace and softness…. you may think of this light as coming from God…or from a peaceful universe……You know its source for you…..and now take some moments to rest in this Light…knowing that with each breath you are inhaling it into every cell of who you are…

Resting in the Light……

Now very gently expand the ray of Light with your breath to include an image of someone you find yourself worried about…someone that you care for very much…..someone you want to be safe….someone you want to feel the strength of your love ….

In your mind…. imagine this person you care about sitting in a chair across from you… ask God… or the Light of Peace,…. however you see it…. to work through you to change this person’s distress to peace…asking, in your mind, “Please work through me to change this person’s distress to peace………

And now imagine this person’s distress as a gray cloud floating in front of their heart……imagine yourself breathing in the gray cloud… it might come in little pieces, or in a small stream…..at a pace that works for you….receive the distress in your heart… feel the distress with deep compassion..…understand that you are not taking on this person’s distress…..rather, it is being transformed in your heart by the Light of Peace…or by God.…

And as you exhale….breathing normally….visualize your breath  returning love to this person as a stream of  golden Light….

Breathing in the distress….knowing it is being transformed in your heart…returning golden Light with your breath…..

Once again…. breathing in the distress….knowing it is being  transformed in your heart….returning golden Light with your breath….

Doing this several more times…

And now, again, become aware of the Light falling onto you, enfolding you.

From this Light breathe in compassion, breathing it into every cell of  who you are…and, taking another breath, exhale the compassion to your beloved…now breathe in love from the Light, fill yourself with it,  then breathe in more, and exhale it to your beloved…

and now kindness….filling you, then your beloved…and now joy…filling you, then your beloved… and now hope (which never dies, but it changes), filling you and then your beloved…and now gratitude, filling you and then your beloved… and now patience, first to you, then to your beloved through you…and willingness, to you, then your beloved…and now courage filling you, then your beloved… and now acceptance to you, then your beloved… and now trust, to you, then your beloved… and softness, soft power from above to you, then your beloved… and then surrender, inhaled by you, exhaled to your beloved…and once more love, filling you, sent to your beloved with your breath…

And now, very gently…holding the image of both of you being enfolded by the Light.…softly open your eyes….take a few deep breaths…and move on with your day.

Give this gift to someone you love for a few minutes….whenever you catch yourself worrying about them….knowing that this person is receiving the Light of Peace through you…and that you, too, have been filled with this Light……so that both of you are more peaceful and connected through giving and receiving this love.