Lama Surya Das – Ep. 16 – Fear, Demons, And Tonglen


Surya Das responds to audience questions on a variety of topics including appropriate responses to fear, working with your demons, and the meditative practice known as Tonglen.

The practice of Tonglen or Giving and Receiving is done to develop our compassion and our ability to be present for our own suffering and the suffering of others. It is also a practice of great kindness that opens up our whole being to the overwhelming presence of suffering and our strength and willingness to transform alienation into compassion through the energy of mercy and the cultivation of openness.

Tonglen is one of the richest and bravest practices that we can do. In teaching this practice for more than twenty-five years, I have been told again and again that this one practice has helped many people immeasurably in attending to their own fears around pain, suffering, dying, and loss and has given them a real basis for the joining of compassion and equanimity. This is one of the great meditation jewels that offers a way us to cultivate our natural mercy.

Photo via Existential Buddhist