Every spiritual practice has important teachings on the subject of forgiveness. Many of us have the experience of forgiving another for what may be commonly considered modest transgressions, but what about big infractions like murder, rape and or sexual assault? Not so easy.
What about when someone we respect and love disappointing us by not living up to expectations we project upon them? Easier to allow our ego mind to hold on to familiar thought patterns of anger, regret, guilt than to truly let go and embrace forgiveness? Who are we hurting when we don’t forgive and conversely who do we help most when we forgive? Wisely selfish anyone?
The excerpt below is from Day 2 of the Ram Dass “Trusting Heart” retreat in Maui this week. I am attending online.
How does the language about forgiveness impact the reality of large hubris? How does our American culture contend with the practice of forgiveness?
Look at your life thus far, is there anyone you have held in your heart as unforgivable? Is this lack of forgiveness for an action or behavior in the past? How does this make you feel today? Who are you punishing when you don’t forgive yourself or another for something that has already occurred?
When someone does something wrong and actually harms us, it is difficult to forgive that person(s), right?
What is in the power of forgiveness?
In this talk, Jack shares that forgiveness has the potential to open us up to vastness and love, which comes from the truth that we’re all connected.
He teaches that without forgiveness, we are chained to the past. How do we rebuild trust when people have caused you harm?
Jack relates his own experience with forgiveness starting with a difficult childhood with an abusive father, weaving it into timeless stories and ancient truths related to forgiveness and trust, ending with a short forgiveness meditation.
Trudy explores how our first experience of trust comes as infants, and recounts a story of her young grandson learning to find the goodness in his experience.
She shares that we have to be able to trust the contents of each present moment. It’s easy to miss the momentary teachings because it’s sometimes a struggle for us to trust that deep knowing that this moment is all we have.
Trudy ends by leading a short meditation on trusting the moment.
Gandhi said, ” the weak can never forgive that forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”