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Forgiveness MeditationA Meditation for the Anniversary of 9/11
by Jack Kornfield
To practice forgiveness meditation, let yourself sit comfortably. Allow 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. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or condoning the suffering caused by others or yourself. You can do everything in your power to prevent more harm. Forgiveness is the release of any bitterness and hatred in your own heart so you are free to move on. 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
• Offering Forgiveness to Yourself
• Offering Forgiveness to Those Who Have Hurt or Harmed 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.
MAY ALL BEINGS BE CHERISHED
This meditation was contributed by Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist teacher, meditation master, and one of Spirituality &Practice's Living Spiritual Teachers. It is based on the ancient Buddhist tradition and used worldwide. It is found in many of Kornfield's books, including The Art of Forgiveness.
See all resources by Jack Kornfield
meditation emotions suffering pain hatred fear memory body sorry healing heart Buddhism Insight Meditation