Practicing forgiveness helps us to see stressful situations with kind eyes. It changes the knee jerk reaction of fighting back. As a result, we often lose interest in justifying our need to be right.
Practicing forgiveness often starts with learning to forgive ourselves for times we weren’t as kind or patient as we could have been. We recognize we are imperfectly perfect, but simply doing the best we can. Forgiving ourselves strengthens our capacity to love ourselves fully, both the shadow and the light. This eventually becomes our reaction and we then more easily forgive others in our life.
Get started with this Vipassana (loving kindness) meditation geared towards cultivating forgiveness:
Please put the attention on the breath. Have forgiveness in your heart for anything you think you’ve done wrong . Forgive yourself for all the past omissions and commissions. They are long gone. Understand that you were a different person and this one is forgiving that one that you were. Feel that forgiveness filling you and enveloping you with a sense of warmth and ease.
Think of your parents. Forgive them for anything you have ever blamed them for. Understand that they too are different now. Let this forgiveness fill them, surround them, knowing in your heart that this is your most wonderful way of togetherness.
Think of your nearest and dearest people . Forgive them for anything that you think they have done wrong or are doing wrong at this time. Fill them with your forgiveness. Let them feel that you accept them. Let that forgiveness fill them. Realizing that this is your expression of love.
Now think of your friends. Forgive them for anything you have disliked about them. Let your forgiveness reach out to them, so that they can be filled with it, embraced by it.
Think of the people you know, whoever they might be, and forgive them all for whatever it is that you have blamed them for, that you have judged them for, that you have disliked. Let your forgiveness fill their hearts, surround them, envelope them, be your expression of love for them.
Now think of any special person whom you really need to forgive. Towards whom you still have resentment, rejection, dislike. Forgive him or her fully. Remember that everyone has dukkha. Let this forgiveness come from your heart. Reach out to that person, complete and total.
Think of any one person, or any situation, or any group of people whom you are condemning, blaming, disliking. Forgive them, completely. Let your forgiveness be your expression of unconditional love. They may not do the right things. Human beings have dukkha. And your heart needs the forgiveness in order to have purity of love.
Have a look again and see whether there’s anyone or anything, any where in the world, towards whom you have blame or condemnation. And forgive the people or the person, so that there is no separation your heart.
Now put your attention back on yourself. And recognize the goodness in you. The effort you are making. Feel the warmth and ease that comes from forgiveness.”
May all beings have forgiveness in their hearts!
What You’ll Need:
4 cups rolled oats (we used gluten-free!)
1.5 cups raw sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup banana chips, crumbled
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sunflower seed butter (can also use peanut or almond butter!)
1/2 cup agave nectar
What to Do:
1. Combine oats, sunflower seeds, banana chips, blueberries, cinnamon, and chocolate chips in a bowl. Add sunflower seed butter and agave and stir until well combined.
2. Refrigerate mixture until relatively firm (about 20 minutes). (If you’re extra impatient like we are, feel free to throw the mixture in the freezer for half that time!)
3. Using a teaspoon to measure, roll mixture into balls. Feeling fancy? Try rolling the finished bites in cocoa powder, cinnamon, or toasted coconut. Or just start eating them as-is. Store in the fridge (or freezer) in an airtight container!