I have a friend who is very sick at the moment. She cries at the slightest pain or irritation or whenever she is poked by needles during blood tests.
So I always encourage her to visualise that she is donating blood to all sentient beings who need her help, and to take the pain and suffering on their behalf.... in other words the practice of tonglen (the act of exchanging self for others). However no matter how many words I say, or how many times I comfort her, she seems not to listen and is irritable.
Last night I received a message from her. Her guru has called and talked to her to comfort her. She said, "My guru asked me to take my suffering for all sentient beings! How endearing to hear that from my heart guru!".