Hypnosis & Tonglen Practice
by Jack Elias, CHT
October 7, 2009
Tonglen is the heart of Buddhist practice. Tonglen is the practice of embracing the suffering of all beings (including one’s own) and transforming it into blessings for all beings. When you cultivate tonglen, you dedicate all of your actions for the benefit of all beings. Having this intention amplifies the good result of all of your actions.
Maintaining the expansive orientation of tonglen during the practice of hypnosis or hypnotherapy allows you to go deeper and to contact sacred levels of insight and inner guidance that might otherwise remain hidden.
It is common for people to have reservations or even fear when considering dedicating their efforts for the benefit of everyone. Our mind often whines, “But what about me?!” when we think in such a courageous and expansively generous way. If you look more carefully, however, it’s the most natural and intelligent orientation to have. Here’s why:
The hypnotic quality of our thinking mind keeps us in a very convincing trance of separation and isolation. As a result of this trance, we lose awareness of the most blatant and ever-present, obvious fact of our interdependency with all of life’s energies. No matter how dramatic or significant our life circumstances may seem, everything would disappear within three minutes if we stopped breathing. Everything would disappear in an instant if we had a fatal heart attack or stroke. It is only due to the extraordinary reliability of life’s support systems that we can so arrogantly take them for granted, even forgetting that they exist.
When we believe that we are separate from life, caught up in our own trance-like personal soap opera, we actually restrict the ways in which life can support us and guide us. Including the well-being of everyone in determining the kinds of choices and efforts we make, we demonstrate a natural recognition that we all arise from the same indivisible life force. So when we open our hearts in loving concern for the benefit of all others, we are opening our being in a way that allows the all-pervasive life support system to magnify the benefit and effectiveness of our every thought, word and deed.
Tonglen is a very simple yet powerful guided trance technique. In our personal soap opera trance, we are often fearful and struggling because we believe we are separate, and even alien, to this world and to others. The tonglen technique awakens us from this fearful trance by drawing forth our most generous and loving capacity to recognize our communion with all of life — that everyone is part of us, part of the family of life.
Finding True Magic Audio: “Become Fearless & Compassionate”