Tamara DalyMeditation Teacher
I was drawn to these practices in 2004, where I was introduced to them by Lama John Makransky. I found them immediately accessible and healing. They became the primary method and focus of my meditation practice, and formed an introduction to the depth of Tibetan Buddhism. Although I didn’t immediately realize it, these practices are a form of guru yoga, but reframed so that a westerner can relate to them. As most westerners can’t relate to Buddhist imagery or even the concept of a guru, instead we use the memory of a loving moment with someone. The beauty of it is that this can be anyone, not necessarily a perfect or idealized person, revealing that “buddha-nature” can be found in any one. Ideally you would recall a loving moment that is so rich in texture that it can re-bless you and flood you again with the warmth of that moment, as if alive still. Receiving that love and then extending it out again, is a source of an ever-deepening wisdom and capacity for love and compassion.
I lead these practices in the Foundation for Active compassion meditation group in Cambridge. I also have been teaching these practices for five years now, for the 2-year meditation course, called the Margha Program, through Natural Dharma Fellowship. These practices are an integral part of the second year of that program.
In my personal life, there is a subtle shift in how I see and relate to people. In the practice of sending love to people, the practice teaches you to uphold them in their “essential goodness”. I find myself seeing people this way and beaming love to them, even strangers on the street.