Tonglen meditation as a tool for workplace conflict resolution


Do you have some people you work with whom you dislike? Do you feel irritated, angry, anxious, nervous or bored around them? Do you find that their presence in your life is a source of conflict – either with you or with others?

If that is the case, then here’s a great tool for dealing with people  you find challenging – whether it is people you see daily or the occasional frustrating encounter with an aggressive motorist. It is called the tonglen meditation and it comes from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

If you are familiar with meditation, you might find some of this counterintuitive.  Like other Eastern practices, it involves becoming aware of your breathing, and taking slow deep breaths. You might find it easier to do the following with your eyes closed.

Take slow deep breaths, in and out, and become aware of your body, from your feet, up through your legs, your waist and groin, your lower back and stomach, your chest, neck, arms, fingers, and your head and facial muscles. As you become aware of your body, try to relax each muscle while breathing slowly in and out.

Become aware of the different sounds you can hear and the people and objects around you.

Then, as you breathe in, imagine that you are inhaling the suffering and unhappiness of others – especially the people you find challenging.

Each time you breathe out, imagine you are exhaling loving kindness.

It is as if you are becoming an air purifier – taking in pain, suffering and negativity and breathing out pure love and compassion.

Your body, mind and spirit have this incredible, amazing ability to do this. What a gift! Feel the joy and gratitude for having this wonderful gift.

If you practice this meditation for even five minutes per day, you will find yourself becoming more patient and compassionate with those difficult people.  Your stress levels will start to go down and you will be calmer and happier.

Use this meditation as a tool for workplace conflict resolution.

There is a good chance that as you change, they might start to change as well.

Mike Lowe
Helping individuals and teams get into flow

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