Transmuting Suffering: Pema Chödrön's Tonglen Video Teachings

with Barbara Hirschfeld

May 5th

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

The practice of Tonglen is a practical yet magical way to work with painful emotions and use them to connect with others. During this day together, we will hear from one of the most skillful Tonglen teachers Ani Pema Chödrön via video teachings that we will unpack, explore and delight in together. It is our good fortune to have this program facilitated by long time meditation practitioner and teacher in Shambhala Barbara Hirschfeld. Barbara is a student of Shambhala & Ani Pema Chödrön and has extensive experience with the practice of Tonglen. 

This class will be an introduction to the practice of Tonglen. Tonglen practice, also known as 'sending and taking', reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. Usually when we see someone suffering, the pain brings up our fear or anger; it brings up our resistance and confusion. We can choose to do Tonglen for all the people just like ourselves, all those who wish to be free of suffering. We can use our personal experience as a stepping stone to understanding what people are experiencing all over the world. Tonglen is a practical practice that transmutes suffering into compassion for all beings.

Barbara Hirschfeld is a student of Ani Pema Chödrön and, through her connection to Pema, Barbara describes how she began to understand the profound teachings of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and now of his son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the Leader of Shambhala. She has been studying on the Shambhala Buddhist path since she went to her first weekend with Pema Chödrön ("the Places that Scare You"), took Level I with Jesse Miller and heard stories about the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche from Acharya Alan Schwartz 17 years ago. Barbara describes how all of these people awakened and helped to set her on her path. Barbara and her husband live in Sebastopol where they have an 8 acre property including the Open Sky Retreat Space. She is delighted to offer this peaceful retreat space to 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 May 1st 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] .