What is forgiveness meditation? But first of all, what is forgiveness? Being able to forgive means being able to release the past and move on. Without forgiveness, we are still struggling with guilt, anger, feelings of having been wronged, which are not only unnecessarily, but totally harmful, a barrier in our spiritual growth.
Many people believe that when you forgive someone for a wrong done to you, you allow him or her to step over you. This is wrong. Forgiving those that harmed you doesn’t mean that you will accept future wrongs, or allow them to happen. You simply let everyone in your heart, even those that are doing things out of ignorance, of confusion and of lack of knowing any better. You don’t close them out.
Also when you forgive, you are finally able to let go of the past and start over. What a sense of relief it is when you finally are able to forgive someone and just move on! However, don’t think that forgiveness is easy to achieve. Real forgiveness is not. It needs lots of practice, until you truly forgive someone from the deepness of your heart. Sometimes you will fall right back into blaming the person, into having fits of anger, rage, sadness, until you finally get over these feelings and will start feeling instead love and peace.
A forgiveness meditation
Here is a useful forgiveness meditation that you can practice everyday to achieve that sense of love towards others, without resentment and anger, which will allow you to move on and grow to a totally new spiritual level.
Bring into your heart the image of someone for whom you feel much resentment. Take a moment to feel that person right there in the center of your chest.
And in your heart, say to that person, “For anything you may have done that caused me pain, anything you did either intentionally or unintentionally, through your thoughts, words, or actions, I forgive you.”
Slowly allow that person to settle into your heart. No force, just opening to them at your own pace. Say to them, “I forgive you.” Gently, gently open to them. If it hurts, let it hurt. Begin to relax the iron grip of your resentment, to let go of that incredible anger. Say to them “I forgive you.” And allow them to be forgiven.
Now bring into your heart the image of someone you wish to ask for forgiveness. Say to them, “For anything I may have done that caused you pain, my thoughts, my actions, my words, I ask for your forgiveness. For all those words that were said out of forgetfulness or fear or confusion, I ask your forgiveness.”
Don’t allow any resentment you may hold for yourself to block your reception of that forgiveness. Let your heart soften to it. Allow yourself to be forgiven. Open to the possibility of forgiveness. Holding them in your heart, say to them, “For whatever I may have done that caused you pain, I ask your forgiveness.”
Now bring an image of yourself into your heart, floating at the center of your chest. Bring yourself into your heart, and using your own first name, say to yourself, “For all that you have done in forgetfulness and fear and confusion, for all the words and thoughts and actions that may have caused pain to anyone, I forgive you.”
Open to the possibility of self-forgiveness. Let go of all the bitterness, the hardness, the judgment of yourself.
Make room in your heart for yourself. Say “I forgive you” to you.
This forgiveness meditation has been written by Stephen Levine, the author of several best-selling spiritual books, such as Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings and A Year to Live: How to live this year as if were your last.