Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Meditation Invitation

Like many other bloggers around the world, I have followed the journey of Darlene and her son, Mark, with a lump in my thoat and an ache in my heart. Also like many others, I light candles in his honor and pray for the entire family.

And while this has been what I could do from afar, it has not felt like enough in the face of the enormous challenges faced by these dear people. Reading the comments on Darlene's posts, it seems many others feel the same.

While we can't all show up at Mark's bedside or hug Darlene in person, together we can do something real and positive—a simultaneous healing meditation.

Please join me in meditating* for Mark and his family on Saturday, January 13 from 2:00pm** to 2:15pm, Central Standard Time.

* If at all possible, please sit outside, on the ground, so that we all have a direct connection to the Earth.

** If you're not sure what time that is in your area, check timeanddate.com Click "Full World Clock" and then "Converter" and select US, Central Standard time and 2:00pm. It will quickly tell you what time that is in your part of the world.


I plan to do a very specific type of meditation called tonglen and invite you to join me in this practice.

Tonglen involves deep compassion for ourselves and for those who are suffering. After a period of preparation, the meditator consciously breathes in the pain and fear and suffering of the person for whom they are meditating, allows the love and compassion in their heart to transmute those things, and then breathes out love and peace and healing. It often helps to imagine inhaling the pain and fear as a dark cloud or as smoke and then to imagine exhaling golden light.

This is a serious mediation and requires strength and true compassion from the meditator. I consulted Liz Elayne of Be Present, Be here who is a yoga teacher. Here's the guidance she offered:

My teacher shared this meditation with me when several loved ones in my life were ill and it became part of my personal practice for several months. Because this meditation is a strong one, it is important to have an awareness of your own strength and how you feel physically and emotionally. Anyone, even someone who has never meditated, will be able to particiapte in this meditation; however, I suggest that you check-in with yourself before the meditation begins. One way to do this: Sit quietly, eyes closed, and notice how you feel physically and emotionally. Think about the idea of breathing in your own suffering and notice how that feels. Take a few breaths as you notice what comes up for you. If thinking about this feels okay for you, think about breathing in the suffering of another person. If either of these check-ins invites you to think that this practice might be too strong for you at this time, you can practice this meditation using only compassion and healing. In this case, you would inhale compassion and exhale compassion and healing.

Another important piece is to start this meditation focused on breathing in your own suffering and then exhaling compassion for yourself. My teacher explained a simple lesson to me that has had such a big impact on how approach this meditation and compassion in my life: You must feel compassion for yourself before you can feel compassion for and another. If you are new to meditation or to tonglen meditation, you might want to practice a personal tonglen meditation over the next few days, focusing on breathing in your own suffering and exhaling compassion and healing for you. This would be a great way to experience this meditation in preparation for our community experience on Saturday."


If you have questions, go here to find a discussion of tonglen written by Pema Chodron.

If meditation is not part of your faith tradition, you're welcome to join us in any form of prayer that is. It be wonderful if we could send streams of golden light to Mark and Darlene and the rest of the family from every corner of the globe. Please help spread the word. Talk to people. E-mail others who might be interested. Post an invitation with a link to this post if you feel comfortable with that. Let's invite all like-minded souls to join us as we breathe healing and compassion into the Universe for Mark and his family.

Sincere and humble thanks to you all.

19 comments:

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

I will be there in prayer! Jerri, thank you for organizing this moment of unity...where two or three are gathered....

Amber said...

For sure count me in! And I will be sure to make a post with this link, as well.

I have wanted so much to do more for them...They are just a couple hours from here, and I have wanted to drive and sit with Darlene! But, I think they need space right now. However, if she ever says, sure come, I will be sure to give her a big hug from you, too!! ;)

This meditation sounds a like like the hypnotherapy I used when i have birth--- Seeing the pain I breathed in as foggy red, and breathing out ice blue. It really worked for me! This time I will sit in a meditative prayer, and it will be an honor to join others in doing so.

ox :)

Remiman said...

Jerri,
Count me in.
1500 eastern.
rel

Star said...

I will be joining my prayers with yours.

dd/sandy said...

Wonderful idea for the meditation prayer..will join in.

dd/sandy

Turquoise CRO said...

Yes! where two or three are gathered, I will be praying Eastern time xo, Cinda

giggles said...

This is a wonderful idea! I do a lot of visualizing and try to email Darlene often! Such a positive idea focusing on Mark together at the same instant! Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

Peace Sherrie

Jenny Rough said...

Jerri,

What a thoughtful idea.

s@bd said...

love that you're doing this - i'll be praying!

b/sistersshoes said...

Tears....tears of joy and appreciation for all of you

Jerri~ you are an angel

XOXOXO

darlene

Boho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bohemian Girl said...

Thank you for doing this for our family. I am touched beyond words.

You are beautiful. You are all beautiful.

Warm hug to you all.

Boho

Teresa Sheeley said...

Thank you for the invite for this meditation. I will be there in prayer also.

suzie q said...

Beautiful thing to do... I will be lighting a candle and breathing along with you at 8pm in the UK.

Thank you :)

Deb R said...

Count me in too.

liz elayne said...

blessings to you jerri...

i will be sitting with you and the many others tomorrow...

luzie said...

what a wonderful idea that is. count me in.

Mike said...

I`ll be there at 4 PM in atlantic Canada.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Awesome Jerri!

Count me in!