“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” -Mary Olivertijana drndarski KFOyQtJSZq8 unsplash

In the dark of winter, we find ourselves with a theme that reminds us of the dark and loneliness. Our tendency is to avoid the feelings of desolation, but feeling those feelings is also important. We have been looking for consolation from this pandemic for almost a year now. I am hopeful that it will come, but until then we need to find consolation elsewhere - in walks outside, Zoom interactions, good books. What is providing consolation for you these days? How do you console each other in your family?

Tonglen is an ancient Buddhist meditation practice. Tonglen means giving and taking or sending and receiving. You can practice this breath meditation sitting down or even in the moment in your life. When you breath in, you can imagine breathing in hard things, suffering, or desolation. When you breath out, you can imagine breathing out consolation, love, or good feelings. This practice helps develop compassion and it also helps you slow down and take in all that is around you mindfully.  Find a guided meditation here: https://padlet.com/dre21/janpackage.

  • What does desolation feel like?
  • What causes desolation in you?
  • What does consolation feel like?
  • What consoles you?
  • How can you offer consolation to each other?
  • What are you learning? How are you growing? (4th principle)