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Birthing the Heart: Forgiveness

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2014-02-18
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Before we can incline the heart out of hiding, we have to tend to the areas of our lives that still foster a lingering believe in our personal narrative.  Any mental and emotional logic that traps us inside our story has to be examined thoroughly because that state holds us within form. One area that keeps us stuck within our mental history is in our lack of forgiveness. Something in the past either happened to us or we did something that we were unable to forgive, and the story may still haunt us to this day.  How do we break  the hold the past has on us and free ourselves from this mental bondage?  We apply the same practice to this area as we do to any mental disturbance. We simple hold it within awareness as it is and allow it to burn itself out.   We have to be careful not to add any additional mental rationale or excuse, which will occur when the energy of the story overwhelms us. Simply face whatever occurred without alterations until the emotions and story become less intense and burdensome. Be careful not to infuse the story with additional guilt or shame.  This practice does not apply to traumatic events which are better handle under professional supervision, but it does apply to those many smaller transgressions that we carry with us throughout our lives.


List three events that you wish to be forgiven and three events where you hold resentment. Is there guilt or unworthiness behind your lack of forgiveness?  Do you have the intention to forgive and be forgiven?  Meditate and reflect on an incident that holds a lack of self-forgiveness.  Deliberately bring the events to mind, let the emotions arise as they will, and let it play out in your mind exactly as it happened.  Do not distort or justify what you did. Hold the scene and the emotions and relax.  Stay with it for a few minutes and do not add any further narrative or self-condemnation. After a few minutes, let it go.  Tomorrow, return and do the same. Over time forgiveness will occur on its own.  It does not need your help, only your willingness to feel the pain of what you did without further self-recrimination.


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