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A MEDITATION ON SILA and FORGIVENESS

To practice Sila forgiveness meditation, let yourself sit comfortably, allowing your eyes to close and your breath to be natural and easy. Let your body and mind relax. Breathing gently into the area of your heart, let yourself feel all the barriers you have erected and the emotions that you have carried because you have not forgiven - not forgiven yourself, not forgiven others. Let yourself feel the pain of keeping your heart closed. Then, breathing softly, begin asking and extending forgiveness, reciting the following words, letting the images and feelings that come up grow deeper as you repeat them.

ASKING FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS:

Let yourself remember and visualize the ways you have hurt others. See and feel the pain you have caused out of your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret. Sense that finally you can release this burden and ask for forgiveness.

Repeat to yourself:

    For the ways that I have hurt you physically or emotionally,
    For the ways that I have hurt you by taking what was not mine,
    For the ways that I have hurt you through my sexual misconduct,
    For the ways that I have hurt you through my harsh speech and lies,
    For the ways that I have hurt you through my intoxication,

    knowingly or unknowingly,
    out of my pain, my fear, my anger and my confusion

    I ask for your forgiveness,
    I ask for your forgiveness.


EXTEND FORGIVENESS FOR YOURSELF:

There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed myself. I have betrayed or abandoned myself many times through thought, word, or deed, knowingly or unknowingly. Feel the sorrow and remorse that you have carried from this and sense that you can release these burdens. Feel your own precious body and life.

Repeat to yourself:

    For the ways that I have hurt myself physically or emotionally,
    For the ways that I have hurt myself by taking what was not mine,
    For the ways that I have hurt myself through my sexual misconduct,
    For the ways that I have hurt myself through my harsh speech and lies,
    For the ways that I have hurt myself through my intoxication,

    knowingly or unknowingly,
    out of my pain, my fear, my anger and my confusion

    I now extend full and heartfelt forgiveness.

    I forgive myself,
    I forgive myself.


FORGIVENESS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HURT OR HARMED YOU:

There are many ways that I have been harmed by others, abused or abandoned, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed. Let yourself picture and remember these many ways. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this past and sense that you can release this burden of pain by extending forgiveness when your heart is ready.

Now say to yourself:

    I now remember the many ways that others have hurt me physically or emotionally,
    I remember the many ways that others have hurt me by taking what I did not freely give,
    I remember the many ways that others have hurt me through their sexual misconduct,
    I remember the many ways that others have hurt me through their harsh speech and lies,
    I remember the many ways that others have hurt me through their intoxication,


    knowingly or unknowingly, out of their fear, their pain, their confusion and their anger.

    I have carried this pain in my heart too long.
    To the extent that I am ready,
    I offer them forgiveness.
    To those who have caused me harm,
    I offer my forgiveness,

    I forgive you.
    I forgive you.


Let yourself gently repeat these three directions for forgiveness until you feel a release in your heart. For some great pains you may not feel a release but only the burden and the anguish or anger you have held. Touch this softly. Be forgiving of yourself for not being ready to let go and move on. Forgiveness cannot be forced; it cannot be artificial. Simply continue the practice and let the words and images work gradually in their own way. In time you can make the forgiveness meditation a regular part of your life, letting go of the past and opening your heart to each new moment with a wise loving kindness.

 

Adapted from the Forgiveness Practice of the meditation teacher Jack Kornfield; author of the book ‘A Path With Heart’ published by Rider & Co; ISBN-10: 0712657800

Please note that this page and the linked pages below are a ‘work in progress’ so please check back here from time-to-time for updates.

[Mindful Recovery Home] [Foundations of Buddhist Recovery] [The Truth of Addiction] [Harm Reduction and Relapse Prevention] [Meditation and Mindful Recover] [Sila Forgiveness Meditation] [Healing the Past] [Loving Kindness - Metta] [Commitment and Ethics] [Notes on Sajja : As Practiced at Thamkrabok Monastery] [A Sajja Vow] [One Day at a Time - Sajja Vow] [The  purpose of Buddhist moral precepts] [The Healing Power of the Precepts] [The Five Mindfulness Trainings] [A Discipline of Sobriety] [A Simple Guide to Life] [Being Human Mindfully] [The Precepts in Recovery] [The Rahula Rules] [Forgiveness Meditation Practice] [The Practice of Metta] [The Blessings of Recovery]