Healing the Heart through the Practice of Forgiveness

Happy National Forgiveness Day and National Friendship Day!

Healing the Heart through the Practice of Forgiveness


How appropriate that National Friendship Day and National Forgiveness Day fall on the same calendar date! Forgiveness is often an integral part of honest friendship, as mistakes are bound to be made by perfectly imperfect people. 

Friendships can fly high and fall low. Through these cycles it is how we rise together that determines the longevity and quality of our relationships. And it’s no easy feat. Rising up can take all of our will, a heavy dose of hope, and bold determination to let go of what doesn’t serve you as an individual and a partner (in friendship and beyond).

But the struggle, like the glorious climb up a mountain, is always worthwhile. Like a climber uses certain tools to make his ascent, there are tools we can use as conscious, loving humans to make the trek up the mountain to our Best Self. 

Forgiveness is an invaluable tool up this mountain. For some the practice of forgiving may come easily, but for others it may take years to truly forgive… Whether you are aiming to forgive yourself for a mistake made, forgive your parents for a childhood of hardship, or a friend for making a petty comment that is weighing on your heart, the practice of forgiveness will not be done in vain… No matter how hard, do the work.

Forgive for Yourself:

Resentment, the opposite of forgiveness, is a poison that kills you slowly. While it may seem harmless, eventually you will notice that you have been stuck on the same point of your journey for days, months, years- your Best Self and your Best Friendship left waiting for you to rise. Learning to forgive, you will find, is absolutely mandatory if you are to move forward. Forgive whoever hurt you, betrayed you, abandoned or abused you. Lighten your load, and climb. The view from the mountain top is spectacular. 

Forgiveness does not mean to condone or justify harmful actions, or to deny that something wrong as happened. Forgiveness is not passive acceptance. It is the action of letting go of the hold a person or situation has on you- releasing the karma of the past, letting your heart be free, your mind be at ease, and your body be relieved from the burden of resentment. For these reasons forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts of a spiritual life, and an integral part of friendship.

The Practice of Forgiveness:

Buddhist Forgiveness Prayer:

This forgiveness prayer similar to the Metta Practice in that involves repeating 3 phrases. Repeat each phrase three times. Begin by breathing softly into the heart… and repeat to your self. Let the words, images and feelings grow deeper as you repeat them.

1. For whatever harm I have caused others, may they forgive me.

2. For whatever harm others have caused me, may I forgive them.

3. For whatever harm I have caused myself, I forgive myself.

 

Ho’oponopono:

The Hawaiian Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) practice is one of reconciliation and forgiveness. Ho’oponopono literally translates into correction. This practice is particularly potent when you are working to forgive yourself, or are seeking forgiveness from someone you have harmed intentionally or unintentionally. Hold the person who’s forgiveness you are seeking in your mind’s eye as you repeat these four phrases three times.

I’m Sorry

Please Forgive Me

I Love You

Thank You

 

Loving Kindness Meditation:

The Loving Kindness (Metta) Meditation is not specifically an act of forgiveness, yet it is. In this meditation you are working to invite in a sense of peace, love, acceptance and compassion for yourself, someone else in particular, and all beings. Similar to the first two practices, repeat the Loving Kindness Meditation three times. In your second recitation of these phrases, replace “I” with the name or the image of someone you are seeking to forgive. On your third recitation, replace “I” with “we” (representing all sentient beings). 

May I be filled with Loving Kindness

May I be well

May I be peaceful and at ease

May I be happy

You can find my Loving Kindness Meditation Video on Youtube HERE.

 

May all of your hearts be free of pain, your minds be at ease, and your smiles glowing. May your friendships blossom and grow. May you stand at the top of the mountain of your Best Self, and continue to Forgive and let go of what is no longer serving you. 

 

All my best,

Namaste,

Stacy

 

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Sure Fire Way To Happiness

Gratitude is a sure fire way to happiness. Research shows that practicing gratitude can elevate our happiness by 25%. In fact, gratitude has the strongest link to well being compared to any other character trait.

For many homes the holidays are busy & sometimes stressful, either preparing your home for others or traveling on the busy roads & airports to visit family & friends. This time of year is about being grateful for our good fortune, but the busy schedule doesn’t always leave room for contemplation.

Being grateful is not something we can do once a year during the holiday’s, we need a daily practice of being grateful to get long lasting results. If we want to be the kind of person who is characterized by gratitude, generosity & thankfulness then we have to focus on it not just during the holidays, but at all times of the year.

Many years ago someone told me that an enlightened person gives thanks for those things we take for granted. Since that time I do the following two practices every AM and PM that I’d like to share with you.

Daily Practice #1

I use the mantra, “I’m so happy and grateful for all that I have, all that I am and all that I will be.” Then I continue to recite all the things I’m grateful for that day.

Daily Practice #2

I practice the Metta ( Loving-Kindness) meditation. Watch this short video clip to help guide you.

I’d like to acknowledge how thankful & grateful I am for each of you.

Loving Kindness

Loving Kindness

 

 

Loving Kindness Practice Card

Loving Kindness Practice Card