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Forgiveness Meditation

by Michael Teh

Very often we are easily consumed over things that are said or done, wishing how we could have responded differently, or wishing life wasn’t how it has turned out to be. However, to have such thinking, dwelling on these things won’t change what have been done or said as it is useless to hold onto them. In any case, these things will keep us in a self-perpetuated cycle of suffering.

What can we do then to get out of this cycle of suffering? Well, we can use these emotions as a doorway to forgiveness – either for ourselves or unto others. And in conjunction with International Forgiveness Day, I would like to share what forgiveness meditation is all about. To learn more, please continue reading this article.

“Having said that, regret and guilt are the two main emotions that trap us in a repetitive loop of negative thought – continuously playing the situation over and over in our minds.”

Very often we are easily consumed over things that are said or done, wishing how we could have responded differently, or wishing life wasn’t how it has turned out to be. However, to have such thinking, dwelling on these things won’t change what have been done or said as it is useless to hold onto them. In any case, these things will keep us in a self-perpetuated cycle of suffering.

What can we do then to get out of this cycle of suffering? Well, we can use these emotions as a doorway to forgiveness – either for ourselves or unto others. And when we can begin to see our guilt or regret as signals (signals that inform us when we have said or done something that was not aligned with our morals, or how we’d like to live our lives), these emotions will then become learning opportunities, and not something we use to beat ourselves up over.

The main lesson is in not wanting to repeat the same mistake, the same action, or the same reaction – and through meditation for forgiveness, it will provide the conditions to achieve this liberating possibility.

What is Forgiveness Meditation?

When we understand how the mind works – in which meditation helps us to achieve it – we are then able to take proactive measures to prevent us from falling into the same habitual thinking.

Having said that, regret and guilt are the two main emotions that trap us in a repetitive loop of negative thought – continuously playing the situation over and over in our minds.

In addition, anger, resentment and hurt all fuel negative mental chatter, and that internal dialogue usually obsesses over the wish that we could have said or done things differently. It is difficult to ignore these thoughts, and the more we listen to them, the worse we will feel about ourselves.

That said, this is where meditation and forgiveness can cross path as both are able to teach us that we are all humans, and being humans means that it is only inevitable that we are going to make mistakes. And if we are able to hold onto this awareness instead of imprisoning ourselves to guilt and regret, then we are able to learn to free ourselves so that we are engaged with the present and not the past.

What is the Meaning to Forgive?

We often set a high bar when it comes to expectations for ourselves, and this will lead us to become attached to the expectation and their intended outcomes. However, the essence of living in the moment is the ability to let go of these expectations. How then should we live in the moment and to let go of our expectations? It is to forgive! And to forgive is to choose to live life as it is, and now how we wish it could be. And when we can open ourselves up to living in this way, we find it not only easier to forgive ourselves but also to forgive others who may have hurt or let us down.

How to Start Forgiveness Meditation?

There are few ways that can be taken when it comes to a guided meditation for forgiveness and letting go. One way is a kindness meditation where it helps to foster innate feelings of compassion towards yourself. The mind’s everyday chatter may obscure kindness, however by quieting the internal dialogues with ourselves, we can create the space for kindness to arise. At the same time, this sharpens our ability to be kind to ourselves and to others while nurturing our capability for forgiveness.

Meanwhile, another way to approach forgiveness meditation is by looking at anger – a feeling that has the potential to disrupt us and throw us off-course. Anger can be felt physically in the form of tightness or pain or a less tangible feeling with symptoms like irritability. Either way, to understand it, we must spend time with it.

And until we decide to engage with it, anger will just be an energy within our bodies. It doesn’t have to be seen as good nor bad but instead an energy that can be leveraged to transform our minds or explored during self-forgiveness guided meditation. The goal is to recognize the anger but not to engage with it

There are many components that make up the ability to forgive ourselves and others. Our relationship with kindness, love, anger, resentment and many other feelings are an important part of this highly personal journey. And if you are interested and looking for someone to journey with you in this path, feel free to reach out to me at hello@iammichaelteh.com.

 

Credit: Headspace

Michael Teh, 7th August 2021.