Ani Pema Chödrön and the Practice of Tonglen (will be rescheduled for May 5th)

with Barbara Hirschfeld

March 18th -Date postponed or cancelled

Date details +
  • $50 Program Price
  • $35 Member Price
  • $65 Patron
Room: Meditation Hall

POSTPONED and Rescheduled for May 5th

This class will be an introduction to the practice of Tonglen. Tonglen practice, also known as “taking and sending,” reverses our usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. In tonglen practice, we visualize taking in the pain of others with every in-breath and sending out whatever will benefit them on the out-breath. In the process, we become liberated from age old patterns of selfishness. We begin to feel love for both ourselves and others; we begin to take care of ourselves and others.

Usually, we look away when we see someone suffering. Their pain brings up our fear or anger; it brings up our resistance and confusion. So we can also do tonglen for all the people just like ourselves—all those who wish to be compassionate but instead are afraid, who wish to be brave but instead are cowardly. Rather than beating ourselves up, we can use our personal stuckness as a stepping stone to understanding what people are up against all over the world. Breathe in for all of us and breathe out for all of us. Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.

On this day we will have the good fortune of learning from a long term teacher and meditation practitioner in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition Barbara Hirschfeld. Barbara has studied with Ani Pema Chödrön and has extensive experience with the practice of Tonglen. 

Barbara Hirschfeld has been a student of Pema Chödron and through her, the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Barbara and her husband live in Sebastopol where they have an 8 acre property including the Open Sky Retreat Space which is Barbara's focus. She is devoted to developing Open Sky Retreat Space for both Shambhala practitioners and many other groups who find inspiration in this lovely West Coast setting.

A Note about Program Fees:

Some Working Scholarships are available for those who can not afford the program fee. Please contact Susie at [email protected] by March 12th if you are interested in applying for a Working Scholarship.

The Patron Fee is for those who would like to offer an additional amount which helps cover the cost of our offering Scholarships.

The Member Fee is lower not only to encourage members to participate in this program but also to thank members for contributing to the health of our Center with monthly donations and volunteer hours. If you are interested in becoming a member of our Sonoma Center, please email Director Susie Cook at [email protected] .