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...a day when one did something slightly unusual - Off the Cliff

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Sat Oct 29th, 2016


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07:33 pm - ...a day when one did something slightly unusual
Went to a workshop on Tonglen practice at the Shambala centre down the street, partly because I never do anything new and partly to see whether my understanding of the practice is at all accurate. Well no, it wasn't quite, but the- err- lecturer is a very laid-back type who maintains there's no way to do it wrong. Tonglen always struck me as the more woo-woo version of metta. Metta is where you wish good things for people and is not much different from God bless Mummy and Daddy and Teddy and Nana and me. Tonglen is where you visualize breathing in someone's sickness or sadness or whatever and breathing out relief and refreshment. 'Now don't worry,' all the sources say, 'it won't really make you sick'-- as if that were possible. No one until today has addressed the question of what it *does* do, and the guy today said that indeed, the effect on other people is like the effect of prayer, whatever you think prayer accomplishes. The effect on *you*, however, is pretty immediate, in that it tunes you in to other people and gets the focus off oneself. Which probably leads to a bunch of other stuff.

(I managed to get up in time for this by the expedient of turning up the heat so I was sleeping with a duvet only, not duvet and heavy heat-holding wool blanket which is both physically and psychologically hard to get out from under. This week has seen me regularly sleeping in to 10 or 11 precisely because of oh cold! and if I stand up I'll hurt! and just one more dream OK? Kills a day faster than anything.)
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