Three Ways to practice Forgiveness
Practice of forgiveness takes the practitioners to the final point or the edge of what they can accept. This is from where the sense of psychological and spiritual well-being comes from practicing forgiveness and meditation. This is of course a challenging, tough and wrenching for the process demands courage and commitment to remember where our inner happiness and peace lies. Practicing forgiveness is important if one is to discover him of her from the inside. It lets the practitioner to reflect upon the past actions and to make a better person out of them in present and future. A better person results into better actions and simply better feelings and reflections to ponder upon in future. Of course, everyone is not perfect, there are mistakes in life; but that does not mean one cannot learn from it. Forgiveness is the first step to learn and to be a better person as a whole.
It is a process; it means that as you reflect upon yourself, many conflicted emotions like shame, anger, sense of betrayal, confusion or doubt may arise within you. Try allowing them to rise without judging them, recognizing them as natural occurrences is indeed the first them to reassert your position, which is then followed by gently returning the attention to the forgiveness reflection. These reflections can be seen in the teachings of the Buddha himself and can be seen how they are depicted in many antique Buddha statues. This can also be seen in various other Buddhist arts like manuscripts, thangka paintings, etc. Many practitioners look towards these symbols for inspiration for their meditation as well as forgiveness practices.
The reflection can be carried out in three simple steps: apologizing to those you have harmed or hurt; offering forgiveness to those who have harmed you; and finally offering forgiveness to yourself. Put yourself in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breath naturally and uncontrollably. Recite (silently or not, depends upon your preference in fact): “If I have hurt or harmed anyone, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask for their forgiveness”. If the images of different people or scenarios come up in your vision or mind, release yourself from the guilt and ask for their forgiveness by simply uttering the words “I ask for your forgiveness”.
In the end of everything, we all can turn our own attention to forgiveness of ourselves. There might have many instances where we might have hurt or harmed ourselves by simply not loving ourselves. This can be done knowingly or unknowingly by not living up to our own expectations. Reflecting upon these issues and inner disturbances, this is the time to let go of the unkindness towards ourselves because of our actions and what we had done in the past or present. We can also include our inability to forgive others that we may have discovered on our path in the reflection immediately preceding that is not a reason to be unkind to our self.
Continue this practice as a part of your daily meditation and let the positive intention flow through your work and daily activities on its own way, in its own time.