“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr
Have you been feeling unsettled or agitated? Have you felt overwhelmed with world events or climactic ones? Are there problems closer to home causing you distress?
At times it is easy to feel small and insignificant – unable to help when all we feel in our hearts is an urge to try. Whether it is pain and illness in our family, or troubles within the environment or the wider world, we can often feel powerless to do anything meaningful.
But there is something we can do. Meditate!
Right now, one of the most helpful things that you can do as a Lightworker is to anchor love, light and positive intent in the world.
Tonglen is Tibetan for ‘giving and receiving’ and it is a beautiful and simple meditation practice than anyone can do, with no experience. What matters is your intent.
Sit or lie quietly, and close your eyes. I like to sit with my spine straight, and my hands together in my lap, thumb tips pressed lightly together. If I’m lying in bed, I lie on my back with my hands crossed together over my heart. Try to sit if you can, but for those of you unwell or unable to do so, a prone meditation practice will still work.
Start by imagining someone who you want to help. It might be a friend with depression. You breathe in the heaviness of their energy and suffering and breathe out joy and peace, or whatever other energy you feel would bring them comfort.
All you ever have to do is ‘breathe in’ the condition, emotion or suffering of another, making room for healing and comfort within them. Then ‘breathe out’ positive energy, love and light to fill the space you have created.
The suffering of others is also our own suffering, so this meditation can help us as we endeavour to help others. If you are in pain, breathe in your own pain and also the pain of everyone who is suffering from your affliction. Breathe out relief to everyone, in whatever form feels most right to you.
Do not worry that the things you breathe in will become a part of you, further weighing you down. As you breathe in suffering it is transmuted back into light, and it dissipates harmlessly.
Sometimes you may not even have a word for what you are breathing it – it will simply be a feeling, a weightiness, a blackness or even a void. Breathe out hope, lightness, joy and well-being. Breathe out ease.
At times when we don’t know what else to do, this suffices. As you bring peace to others, you bring it also to yourself. It is a very soothing and calming practice. You don’t need to belong to any particular religion, or follow any particular spiritual philosophy. This simple practice merely acknowledges that we are all human, all connected, and all the same – no matter who we are, or where we come from.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama says of Tonglen:
“Whether this meditation really helps others or not, it gives me peace of mind. Then I can be more effective, and the benefit is immense.”
In addition to meditation, here are some simple additional things you might like to try:
- Treat yourself kindly and with care. Get enough sleep, eat well, and find things to be grateful for in your daily life.
- Reach out to others with a spirit of friendship and compassion.
- Spend time in nature, resting and reinvigorating your soul.
- Don’t contribute to gossip, hurtful or negative talk, or sharing negative views or images on social media.
- Spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy the company of your family and friends. Laugh together, and make good memories.
- Read uplifting and nourishing books – both fiction and non-fiction.
- Grow food or flowers.
- Use your shopping dollars to support products, services and enterprises who contribute positively and responsibly to the environment and community.
- Speak kindly to yourself and others.
- Choose to remain positive and optimistic about the future. Anchor that energy of hope. Be inspirational to those around you.
- Live life lovingly and to the best of your ability.
- Follow your own joy. Create, dream, travel, start the project or business you’ve been thinking about for so long, connect, be yourself, learn something new, teach something you know, be the change.
- Know that your life matters, your ideas matter, you matter!
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we might just change the world.
Sending so much love to you.
Thanks for sharing the journey with me!
Nicole ❤ xoxo