Forgiveness Practice

I have heard from several of you that our discussion on forgiveness came at the right time and was very supportive.   I agree.  Forgiveness through the lens of Dharma is so liberating.

For the benefit of those who were not at Sangha last week, we discussed the way Buddha separated forgiveness from reconciliation. Forgiveness practice is a private, personal matter. It is giving yourself permission to let a wrong go.  All wrongs, hurts, betrayals, unfairness – harms of any type – come soaked in negative energy,  tension,  pain, aversion.  There’s no way to change this because there’s no way to un-ring a bell.  But forgiveness practice,  like Metta, enables us to tap into the more universal state of openness – allowing us to choose not to retaliate or  seek revenge.

I asked people to say the practice (see the handout), which takes a couple of minutes, every night before going to bed. There’s no need to do anything.   Just say the words and allow your heart to do what the heart does normally.

A word about reconciliation.  Reconciliation is about returning to an amicable relationship with another person. It requires an admission of wrongdoing and a promise to refrain from repeating the behavior in the future. Reconciliation may or may not be possible.  Forgiveness,  releasing oneself from suffering, is always possible.

This Thursday I will be at SIMS to hear Larry Ward.  Capitol Hill Sangha will still meet.   Spencer and Sheila will be holding the space so please join them.

I will be back the following Thursday and we will continue our exploration of forgiveness.   We’ll talk about what prevents or blocks us from forgiveness.

I hope your practice goes well.


3 responses to “Forgiveness Practice

  1. Hi Tuere, is it possible to share the handout with those who did not attend the meditation group?


    “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ~ Lao Tzu

  2. Here is the Forgiveness practice –

    Just as I have caused suffering to others, there are many ways that I have hurt and harmed myself. I have betrayed or abandoned myself, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word, or deed. For the ways I have hurt myself though action or inaction, out of fear, pain, and confusion I now extend a full and heartfelt forgiveness. I forgive myself. I forgive myself completely.

    There are many ways that I have been harmed by others. I have been hurt, abused, and abandoned, knowingly or unknowingly, by thought, word, or deed. I remember the many ways others have hurt, wounded or harmed me, out of fear, pain, confusion and anger. I have carried this pain in my heart long enough. To the extent that I am ready, I offer you forgiveness. To those who have caused me harm, I offer my forgiveness now. I forgive you.

    There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others. I have betrayed or abandoned them, knowingly or unknowingly, by thought, word, or deed. For the ways I have caused you suffering out of my pain, fear, anger and confusion, I ask for your forgiveness now. Please forgive me.

  3. Hi, Tuere. Just sending you one great big thank-you from Tokyo. I’ve been “secretly admiring” and following your blogs. The teachings through you are indeed very helpful, still after all these years.

    All the best,

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