June 23, 2020
Episode 77

The FORGIVENESS Meditation

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Forgiveness practice releases us from the chains of the past. It is an act of courage to let go of the things that are no longer serving us.

In the temples, it is common for monks to repeat this practice hundreds of times until it feels natural and authentic.

In the meditation, we will extend the power of forgiveness in three directions as a way to cultivate freedom of the heart.

Hope you enjoy!

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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of “The BE ULTIMATE Podcast.” ]

Hi. This is Travis Eliot, and welcome to the “Forgiveness” meditation.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” It is an act of courage to let go of the things that are no longer serving us in a positive way.

In the temples, it is common for monks to repeat this practice hundreds of times until it feels natural and authentic. We will extend the power of forgiveness in three directions.

Please find a comfortable seat.

Allow your eyes to close and your breath to be natural and effortless. Invite your body to relax and allow the thought waves of the mind to begin to calm.

Feel your breath moving into the area of the chest and let yourself be present to any blockages in your heart due to resentment because you have not forgiven another or yourself.

We will begin by extending forgiveness to those that have hurt or harmed you.

So breathing gently, begin reciting the following phrase, and as you do, allow any images and feelings to arise without pushing them away. The phrase is,

“To the extent that I am ready, I offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me. I offer my forgiveness. I forgive you.”

“To the extent that I am ready, I offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me. I offer my forgiveness. I forgive you.”

“To the extent that I am ready, I offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me. I offer my forgiveness. I forgive you.”

Continue to repeat that phrase, allowing yourself to remember the many ways that this is true and to be courageously present to these images or emotions that might arise. As you continue to repeat the phrase, feel the burden of pain being released. Feel the knots of your heart becoming undone. On your own, keep repeating.

[silence]

If tears begin to arise, just let them be. These are the tears of transformation as you heal yourself from the wounds of the past. Stay with the phrase. Keep repeating.

[silence]

And then begin to allow the repetition of the phrase to fade away and just taking a few moments now to rest in the after effects of what you just did.

Good.

Now we will ask forgiveness to those that we have knowingly or unknowingly hurt or harmed.

Begin to allow yourself to remember and visualize the ways that you have hurt others. Be present to the pain that you have inflicted due to your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret.

As memories and pictures of people arise, begin to repeat the phrase,

“I ask forgiveness to those who I have hurt. I ask for your forgiveness. Please forgive me.”

“I ask forgiveness to those who I have hurt. I ask for your forgiveness. Please forgive me.”

Take some time to continue this repetition and practice on your own.

[silence]

Any emotions or feelings that arise, perhaps even shame or guilt, just let them be. And as you continue to repeat, allow these feelings and these emotions to subside, to begin to pass. Feel yourself finding a greater sense of space and freedom. Keep repeating.

[silence]

And gently allow the phrase to go. Allow those images and visualizations to go just resting in this moment right here, right now, present to what is.

[silence]

Finally, we will extend forgiveness to ourself, the last of the three directions.

Feel the connection right now to your body. Feel the beauty of this breath right here, right now. Feel the reverence and sacredness of your life.

Allow yourself to now recall the ways you have hurt or harmed yourself.

Very often, we are our own worst enemies abusing ourselves through negative and unskillful thoughts, speech, actions.

Be present to any images or memories that may arise as you repeat the phrase,

“For the ways that I’ve hurt myself, I now extend complete forgiveness. I forgive myself. I forgive myself.”

For the ways I’ve hurt myself, I now extend complete forgiveness. I forgive myself. I forgive myself.”

Take a couple of minutes to keep repeating and practicing on your own.

[silence]

Good. Allow that repetition to go and now have some time to rest in the lightness of spaciousness and the freedom of your heart, of letting go.

[silence]

Beautiful. I want to commend you for doing this deep work. The root word ‘cour’ of courageous means to come from the heart or to act from the heart. This is why Gandhi said, “Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong,” the courageous.

Whether you felt a powerful release or not, the important thing is that you showed up. Just keep letting go to the degree that you are ready. The pains of the past need to be met with the light of compassion. In time, the heart will become more free.

I invite you to return to this practice as often as you need the healing medicine of forgiveness practice.

Many blessings. Thank you.