"Let's practice forgiveness now. Begin with the basic mindfulness practice that we have been cultivating throughout this book: settle with the feeling of the body sitting, then with the breathing, gradually coming to quiet, to full presence, simply, without restriction or constriction. Open up space inside, allowing whatever wants to be there simply to arise. In this way, come to readiness for the practice of forgiveness.

"Now recall an incident (it need not be major, it could be something quite small) in which you or someone else acted with a degree of thoughtlessness or even cruelty. Paint a picture of this incident in your mind. Remember as best you can the place, the circumstances, the words, the gestures. Let the moment float there in your mind's eye.

"Now go deeper with your feelings about the incident. However minor it may have seemed at the time (and may actually have been, in the grand scale of things), let yourself be perhaps more sensitive than you ought to be: feel the pain in you caused by the slight (if it is something you have said or done, feel the shame or regret). Explore this painful feeling, not overdoing it, yet allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to feel it completely.

"Now, based on this feeling, think, 'This is not only my pain, it is the pain. This is the pain we all feel when we have been dishonored, diminished, dismissed. Due to this pain and its deep unconscious roots in me (or him or her), those words or deeds arose. Now I understand. Understanding, I can forgive. I am responsible, he or she is responsible, for actions of word or deed. Forgiveness does not take away that responsibility. And yet forgiveness changes me. It brings me closer to homecoming.'

"Work for a while actively forgiving, in this spirit.

"Then rest in the feeling of forgiveness. See what thoughts or feelings arise in your heart, now that forgiveness is there.

"And now, in the middle of this resting place, feel yourself surrounded by love, a deep and forgiving love that takes all into account, accepting everything, the good with the bad, the painful with the pleasant. Beyond any hurt, beyond any deed, this big forgiveness pervades all. You can breathe in and out with it, drink it in, suffuse it throughout the cosmos. 'All is forgiven, all is redeemed, the power of love is infinite.' Feel the quiet power of these phrases."