Guided Forgiveness Meditation
This beautiful contemplative practice, written by Revs. Bil and Cher Holton, can assist you in the difficult task of releasing grudges, hurts, insults, anger, and feelings of betrayal. We recommend that you (or someone with a calm, clear voice) record this centering experience. Find a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed for 10-12 minutes. Relax and take several deep breaths, breathing slowly between each – then let the recording play while you close your eyes and experience this powerful forgiveness exercise.
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In your mind’s eye, see yourself in your favorite place. This special place can be out-of-doors or in-doors. You might see yourself standing near a stream or a large mountain lake, or perhaps even on a tropical beach. You could find yourself in a sauna or steam room or visiting a museum or art gallery. Wherever that special place is, take a moment to examine every detail.
What colors do you see? Are there any special sounds or odors? Any unusual textures or shapes? Are there people in your special place? Are there tastes associated with your favorite place?
As you fully relax and enjoy your Shangri-La, know that you are safe and secure in the arms of the universe. This is your place. A place of quiet and peace. Joy. Serenity. And, yes, forgiveness. It is a place where the forgiving heart embraces others with a feeling of compassion for whatever stage they are experiencing in their soul’s evolution. A place filled with feelings of love, compassion, and oneness rather than judgmentalness, hate, and revenge.
The forgiving heart knows that when it feels separate from those less evolved emotionally, it also separates itself from those who are more evolved, thus delaying its own journey upward.
If you have a past experience which caused pain or discomfort — one which you find difficult to release — begin to see in your mind’s eye the person or people involved. These people may be alive, or perhaps they have made their transitions. It doesn’t matter, because this special place knows no time limits.
The hurt may have been caused yesterday, last year, or a lifetime ago. You did not deserve the hurt. It went deep — deep enough to lodge itself in your memory. And it remains hurtful, even now. It’s one of those old pains that doesn’t heal so easily. It remains like a stubborn stain in the fabric of your memory. Perhaps a friend betrayed you; someone special lied to you; a stranger hurt you; a parent neglected or abused you; a brother or sister angered you; a spouse was unfaithful; a co-worker cheated you.
It isn’t necessary to replay the event or circumstance which upset you. If your old script has started, gently end it by reminding yourself that you are in your favorite place. You feel peaceful and relaxed. You are aware that you are safe and secure in the arms of the universe. This special place is your sanctuary. You are filled with love, confidence, and inner peace.
You know it is in this quiet place that your hurts and pains are dissolved and released — never to resurrect or impede your happiness again. You are happy and want to rid yourself of an old self-defeating script that has been replayed for much too long now. So, at this time invite that person who you believe has caused you so much anguish into your sanctuary.
As this person approaches — simply smile and say, “I forgive you and release you for any harm I believe you have caused me.” As this person faces you, you realize that this, too, is a person who is trying to find selfhood and peace, happiness, and joy — just like you.
You may even discover that YOU are this other person. Too often, we forget or find it difficult to forgive ourselves, and self-forgiveness is perfectly okay — even vital. So whether it is another person or yourself you are facing, simply reach out and shake hands — or hold that dear, wonderful human being in an embrace of friendship with a heartfelt hug.
As the two of you make peace, know that the healing process has begun. Then if there is someone else who needs your forgiveness, invite that person into your special sanctuary, too. Release any ill feelings, guilt, or animosity and greet that person with love in your heart. Release them to their highest good, knowing that your relationship with them is now more loving and filled with new-found understanding and acceptance.
When you forgive someone for hurting you, you perform inner surgery on your negative life patterns. If you cannot free yourself or others from wrongs you feel have been inflicted on you or feel you can’t release them to their own greatest good, you enslave yourself to your painful past. Forgiveness opens your heart to your own good. You will know that forgiveness has begun when you feel the power to wish transgressors well. We make new beginnings, not where we used to be — or wish we could be — but where we are in this now moment.
Know that there is no need to feel regret or guilt about the past. You have just repaired the damage — you have just healed most, if not all, of the hurt — you have just cleared the emotional log jam that placed your health, happiness, inner peace, and success in jeopardy. You are free. A tremendous weight has been lifted. You are free! You are free!
As you prepare to leave your special place, know that you can visit it as often as you like. Know that you have released the ties that bound you to the past. You have taken a quantum leap toward self-fulfillment and happiness.
Slowly become aware of the sounds and sensations surrounding you. Whenever you are ready, you may open your eyes and refocus your attention on this now moment, knowing you are now a more compassionate person, having released the weight of your negative feelings. You are free, and receptive to the new you who has lightened an emotional load that needed to be released.
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Welcome back! If you truly experienced this activity, you will most likely feel lighter, less stuck, and perhaps somewhat relieved. And that’s fine. Just know that you will never be the same again. The greatest step you can take toward your own evolvement and inner peace is to release any grudges, blame, resentments, or hard feelings you’ve hung on to for much too long. Forgiveness is a quantum leap toward the inner peace and personal happiness that connect you to the Extraordinary You, the Real You, the Phenomenal You !
When you forgive and release the inner tensions, you attract bursts of energy, radiant joy, and inner peace that sustain and refresh your beingness.
© 1996 Bil and Cher Holton, YourSpiritualPractice.com