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Tonglen: A Practice For Your Broken Heart

On this September 11th, I am reminded, these 18 years later, that we all have broken hearts.

We forget this sometimes, you know? Most of us are good at pretending. As a yoga and meditation teacher, I see it sometimes in class, as people beat up on themselves for falling out of Utthita Hasta Padangustasana, or feel it in their heaviness as they walk in the door making a wan effort to smile, or when they struggle, fidgeting, to give themselves permission to rest for even two minutes at the end of class in Savasana.

One of my own pet peeves as a student is when the teacher starts jabbering on and on about "finding your bliss." There you are, trying not to itch your nose for the 14th time in seated meditation, or fighting to stay upright in Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, sweat dripping into your eyeballs, and they're wandering around blabbing about rainbows and unicorns.

Um, seriously? No. That's not how it works.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Yoga and m…

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