The Tonglen Practice for Fearlessness: 9-Minute Meditation

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As long as we are indulging in the exhilarating fear of this season, we might as well look at the monsters inside, get to know the real fear already there.

The spiritual equivalent of watching a scary movie during your scary season is meditation. Oh yeah.

In the Wisdom of No Escape, Chodron talks about the Tonglen practice, which “has to do with cultivating fearlessness.” It’s a meditation, which is the best way to get to know your fear. “Since meditation has this quality of bringing you very close to yourself and your experience, you tend to come up against your edge faster. It’s not an edge that wasn’t there before, but because things are so simplified and clear, you see it, and you see it vividly and clearly.”

This meditation has 4 steps in order to progress us safely through, like walking through a haunted house.

To get in touch with the boddhicita, which means ‘courageous heart,’ we must touch on a sense of openness and spaciousness. For 5 breaths, imagine your heart expanding on the inhale, and on the exhale, you create spaciousness. This opens up the space.

  1. Now on the inhale, imagine breathing in the dark, hotness of fear and then on the exhale, we breathe out white, cool, light pleasure and love. 5 breaths like this.

  2. Then we call to mind something in our lives that is causing fear or the feeling of being stuck. We bring up and feel all qualities of this, breathing it in on the inhale. For the exhale, breathe out the love of a loving, some goodness of a situation in your life, ventilating, opening and sending out spaciousness, giving it out to the world on your exhale. 5 breaths, please.

  3. Finally, we take in the overall fear of the world with the inhale, and for the world, we breathe out loving-kindness and compassion to all the world because everyone is feeling fear and pain. 5 breaths. Recognize that the uncomfortable fear you feel is something all sentient beings have and give out your love and joy to the world. We’re all sharing the same experience.

Free Meditation Course:

The 21-Day

Meditation Transformation

You've probably heard about how great meditation is for you. You've probably said to yourself: I need to start meditating. Or maybe you had a practice, and life has gotten in the way.


There is no one that meditation can't help. There is no way it can't transform your life, if you make a habit out of it. We're talking better career & creativity, better relationships & connections, better mindset & disposition, better health & sleep. It touches everything.


So here's what to expect:


  • Every day for 21 days, you will get an email with a downloadable PDF worksheet for the day and a link to the meditation audio. On the first day, you will also receive your 21-Day Meditation Transformation calendar.


  • The first week focuses on Breath and Body, and all of the meditations will be 5 minutes. We will ease into the practice during this first week. Simple practices in a shorter amount of time as we work through any resistance and perceived time constraints.


  • The second week's meditations will be 10 minutes long and will focus on Mind & Mantra. Habit is forming, getting stronger.


  • We finally work our way into 15-minute meditations that incorporate Gratitude, Love & Visualization. These meditations are powerful. I challenge you to make it to this week.


  • I've made it easy for you with a quick link to a simple, guided meditation and downloadable worksheet in your inbox every day.


I can't wait to hear from you about the effects of your new or reinvigorated meditation practice! I know you can do it. And you DO have the time. I promise, it's worth it. You can make time for anything, and this is the thing that nourishes and revitalizes everything.


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    Comment below about your experience with this meditation!

    Related: Witches & Monsters: Why We Celebrate Fear + 3 Practices for It

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