In this way, forgiveness is truly revolutionary. It releases the pain of the past so you are free to live in the present. It changes fear and hate into love and acceptance, just as an oyster uses the irritation from a grain of sand to produce the beauty of a pearl. It enables you to live with kindness and care.
You can develop forgiveness for yourself or another. You may want to meditate on just one of these areas when you do this practice. Find a comfortable place to sit and settle your attention on your breathing.
- Focus on memories, feelings or issues you have not forgiven yourself for. Simply observe—without attachment. Hold yourself with care and tenderness, inviting forgiveness. Silently keep repeating: "I forgive myself, for my words and actions, intentional or unintentional, I forgive myself. May I be peaceful and filled with loving kindness." Keep breathing, letting the breath open and soften your heart.
- Now focus on one person you wish to forgive. Breathe out any resistance or anger, and breathe in forgiveness and gentleness. Silently keep repeating: "I forgive you, for your words and actions, intentional or unintentional, I forgive you. May you be peaceful and filled with loving kindness." Be gentle with yourself. Do not get sidetracked by the details of what happened. Let go of the story and breathe in forgiveness.
Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of Be The Change, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World. They are featured weekly contributors to Oprah.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Care2.com. Ed and Deb write Sprint's The Daily CHILLOUT inspirational text messages. They have three meditation CDs: Metta: Loving Kindness and Forgiveness, Samadhi: Breath Awareness and Insight and Yoga Nidra: Inner Conscious Relaxation. Deb is also the author of the best-selling book Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award.
Keep Reading More from Ed and Deb Shapiro:
Why being in your heart is better than in your head
Unhook yourself from negativity
How your attitude can determine your life