Virtual | Jul 2021
This two-part series explores the practice of self-forgiveness.
It begins with the dharma talk "Walking In The Direction of Self-Forgiveness" and is followed by the guided meditation "Self-Forgiveness Meditation".
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Self-Forgiveness - Part 1
Dharma Talk: Walking In The Direction of Self-Forgiveness
Self-Forgiveness - Part 2
Guided Meditation: Self-Forgiveness Meditation
During this meditation, we enter into the process of forgiving ourselves; we “walk in the direction of forgiveness”. Begin with a self-forgiveness scan, noticing something recent that you have judged yourself for, or something that you regret, or something that you hold against yourself. Keep it current—don’t go too far in the past or choose the biggest issue in your life; often there is something from the last few days to work with. Choose something that is a 3- 4 on a 10-point scale. Choose something that you feel a willingness to “walk in the direction of forgiveness”. Acknowledge to yourself any regret you feel for that which you wish to forgive, and any suffering it has caused, especially to yourself, note if there is any amends or action that needs to be followed up on. At the same time, feel your desire or willingness to forgive yourself for whatever experience you have chosen to work with. If there is a big “no”—please honor it and choose something else. Consider putting your hand over your heart or hold an image of yourself in your mind as you say these words silently to yourself:
• I allow myself to make mistakes.*
• I allow myself to be a student of life, still learning and growing.*
• I forgive myself; and if I’m not able to forgive myself fully today, I intend to forgive myself sometime in the future. *
• Forgiven, forgiven. **
• I am choosing to walk in the direction of self-forgiveness. ***
Then choose one of the statements, or perhaps just a phrase, to repeat to yourself a few more times, choosing the one that makes you the happiest to offer to yourself or that brings some softening to your holding.
* Phrases from Arinna Weissman, as taught at the first IMCW women’s retreat, New Windsor, MD.
** As suggested by Tara Brach, in Radical Acceptance Chapter 10, in the section on the Self-Forgiveness scan.
*** Trish Magyari with inspiration from a senior nun of Thich Nhat Hanh