I can't call myself a buddhist, but we are the sum of what our peers are. My dad used to say that even if you think you aren't a bad person, if who you call your friends are bad people or break the rules, then you're one of them too. Replace "bad" with the adjective of your choice and the rule sticks. Therefore, I'm a friendship-transitive buddhist.
One of my friend-of-a-buddhist's just emailed me (lojongmindtraining.com):
Sending and taking is a very important practice of the Boddhisattva path. It is called tonglen in Tibetan: 'tong' means 'sending out' or 'letting go' and 'len' means 'receiving' or 'accepting'. 'Tonglen' is a very important term; you should remember it. It is the main practice in the development of relative Bodhicitta.
The practice of tonglen is actually quite straightforward ; it is an actual sitting meditation practice. You give away your happiness, your pleasure, anything that feels good. All of that goes out with the outbreath. As you breathe in, you breathe in any resentments and problems, anything that feels bad. The whole point is to remove territoriality altogether.
Sometimes we feel terrible that we are breathing in poison which might kill us and at the same time breathing out whatever little goodness we have. It seems to be completely impractical. But once we begin to break through, we realize that we have even more goodness and we also have more things to breathe in. So the whole process becomes somewhat balanced...But tonglen should not be used as any kind of antidote. You do not do it and then wait for the effect - you just do it and drop it. It doesn't matter whether it works or not: if it works, you breathe that out; if it does not work, you breathe that in. So you do not possess anything. That is the point.
Usually you would like to hold on to your goodness. you would like to make a fence around yourself and put everything bad outside it: foreigners, your neighbors, or what have you. You don't want them to come in. You don't even want your neighbors to walk their dogs on your property because they might make a mess on your lawn. So in ordinary samsaric life. you don't send and receive at all. You try as much as possible to guard those pleasant little situations you have created for yourself. You try to put them in a vacuum, like fruit in a tin, completely purified and clean. You try to hold on to as much as you can, and anything outside of your territory is regarded as altogether problematic. You don't want to catch the local influenza or the local diarrhea attack that is going around. You are constantly trying to ward off as much as you can.
Just relate to the technique: the discursiveness of it doesn't matter. when you are out, you are out; when you come in, you are in. When you are hot, you are hot; when you are cool, you are cool... Make it very literal and simple.
This came after a time when I asked those around me to be more "zen" about the challenges we can't change. Avoid the "local diarrhea attack" (the metaphorical shitstorm of one's day to day as an entrepreneur) is the part that I hear loud and clear. Walling yourself off from the reality of everything else is a luxury we don't have: you have to accept that it's all happening. The best you can do is put on your goggles and keep walking towards your goal.