You may be wondering what meditation and forgiveness have to do with each other. At first glance it would be easy to dismiss any connection but when you get to have a go yourself – that’s when the penny drops.
So why do we even need a forgiveness meditation? Because it brings a quality of meditative awareness to the act of forgiveness which makes it a very powerful opportunity for healing the past.
When you think about it forgiveness is really a super-power. It has the ability to re-build bridges of trust between people where previously there were gaping chasms. It can heal wounds of anger, pain or resentment. It can also free your heart and mind to find compassion and peace again.
Meditation on the other hand allows you to access deeper levels of the mind and your inner self that is beyond the ego. From this space of deeper connection whatever you choose to focus on is amplified manyfold.
I’ve always been a big advocate for forgiving both myself and others. It seemed ridiculous to me to not forgive as why would I want to hold onto toxic thoughts or feelings in my mind or body? Where’s the benefit in that?
I have met hundreds of people who find it almost impossible to forgive themselves or others and the one thing they all have in common is that their lack of compassion keeps them somewhat hardened to life.
Some people have said to me that they are not interested in forgiving themselves or others for past actions. Others seem to struggle with applying it. The bottom line is that no-one has to forgive anyone for anything. It really boils down to the quality of life that is important to you.
There are two things for sure that not forgiving people does. The first is that it creates a tightness within your inner being because it takes energy to hold onto whatever harm you did to others or they did to you.
The second thing being unforgiving does is that it doesn’t allow your past wounds to heal. When a wound doesn’t heal – it festers. This then seeps into other areas of your life and pollutes them as well. It will affect your ability to love, be compassionate, be intimate and to be completely happy and healthy.
The 1 Minute Forgiveness Meditation
Before we get into the technique I want to share a fun fact with you. Research has shown that for people who are looking to go deeper in their meditation practice then doing a forgiveness meditation is the key.
By forgiveness, I mean to really bring into your heart someone that has betrayed your trust or hurt you deeply on some level and instead of being overwhelmed by anger or pain – feel compassion for them.
Here’s the technique to use to truly forgive yourself or anyone and unburden yourself from needless suffering.
Step 1. Find a comfortable space to meditate in.
If you have a regular place that you meditate, then use that. Otherwise, you can use your bedroom or somewhere quiet where you won’t be easily disturbed. If you live near a beach or nature park, then you can do your meditation there.
Step 2. Choose a person or even.
Close your eyes and recall the situation in which you felt “wronged” or you caused harm to someone in some way and you are now ready to forgive. Allow any emotions that come with it to arise and let yourself feel them with an attitude of non-judgment. Do this for just a few minutes.
If you notice that you are getting caught up in any stories that you have created in your head about this event then remind yourself to bring your attention back to just feeling whatever emotions are there. You can say things to yourself like, “I feel anger”, or, “I feel pain” if it helps to label the feelings.
Step 3. Switch to compassion
After doing this for no longer than 5-minutes switch to feeling compassion for them or you (or both).
Now, you might be wondering how do you switch from anger to compassion when your feelings are all over the place? Firstly, you go into the meditation with an intention to create forgiveness. This helps to set the scene in your mind that this is what will happen.
Secondly, you are not your thoughts or feelings. They do not control you unless you let them. You are that part of you that is aware that you have thoughts and feelings. This is the part of you that can easily forgive and be compassionate.
This part of you knows how to step back from your conditioned mind’s reactive behavior and to choose the mental and emotional destiny that you prefer. All of us know this to be true about ourselves its just that sometimes we choose victim hood rather than responsibility.
If it helps, you can ask yourself questions like what did I learn from this situation? Or, how did this lesson help me to grow? Then, think about what circumstances may have caused you or any other involved to do what they did. What was going on for you or them at the time?
What forgiveness really does for us apart from freeing up stuck energy is to give us a deeper sense of inner peace and wholeness. Imagine going through life feeling like you don’t owe anybody anything, nor does anyone owe you. How liberating would that be?
I’ve been living this way for over 20 years and I gotta say that I never let a day go by where I carry any supposed injustice into the next day. What I mean by this is that if someone or something upsets me then I deal with it then and there.
If it’s something I can forgive immediately then I do. If it’s not possible for any reason then I’ll save it for my evening meditation. By choosing to live with this level of self-forgiveness I’m always sleeping peacefully like a baby knowing that there is nothing left unresolved from the day.
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