Skill Level Beginner
- [Announcer] This is an audio course, no need to watch just listen. (bell ringing) (peaceful music) - [Narrator] Sounds True presents Guided Meditation, Essential Practices to Cultivate Love, Awareness, and Wisdom with the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Jack Kornfield. - [Jack] Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts of spiritual life. Forgiveness enables us to be released from the sorrows of the past. Although it can arise spontaneously, it can also be cultivated in meditation. It enables us to be released from the sorrows of the past. I've seen mothers forgiving the killers of their own children. Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is the ancient and eternal law. Forgiveness frees us from the past. Although it can arise spontaneously, it can also be cultivated. There's an ancient and systematic practice from the Buddhist monasteries that teach us the heart of forgiveness. Through the spirit of forgiveness, we can transform our life. Before you can do this forgiveness meditation, you must be clear about what forgiveness means. Forgiveness does not in any way justify or condone harmful actions. While you forgive, you may also say, "Never again will I allow this to happen." You can do whatever is necessary to prevent further harm. Forgiveness does not mean you have to seek out or speak to those who've caused you harm. You may choose never to see them again. Forgiveness is simply an act of the heart, a movement to let go of the pain, the resentment, the outrage, and burden we've carried so long. It's an easing of your heart and an acknowledgement that no matter how strongly you may condemn the suffering of another, you will not put another being out of your heart. We've all been harmed or betrayed, just as at other times, we have betrayed others or ourselves. "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, "we should find in each person's life "sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility," says Longfellow. For most people, forgiveness is a process. When you've been deeply wounded, the work of forgiveness can take years. It goes through stages of grief and rage, sorrow, fear, and confusion. And in the end, as you let yourself feel the pain you carry, forgiveness comes as a relief, a release of the heart. You see that forgiveness is fundamentally for your own sake, a way to no longer carry the pain of the past. It is like the two ex-prisoners of war, one who says to the other, "Have you forgiven your captors yet?" The second replies, "No, never." And the first says, "Well then, "they still have you in prison, don't they?" To release the sorrows of the past, allows our heart to move on in this world in a free, unburdened, and gracious way. Fundamentally, the act of forgiveness is for yourself. It may be for the harm you've done to yourself or another, or it may be for the pain that you've carried too long. It is an act of courage. "If you want to see the brave," says the Bhagavad Gita. "Look for those who can forgive." We will do the practice of forgiveness meditation in three parts. Let yourself work with it easily. Sometimes it comes naturally. Sometimes the meditation brings up its opposite, and we feel all the pain, anger, or resentment we still carry. It shows us the work of the heart. Trust yourself in this. Go gently into the practice of forgiveness. There's no need to be judgmental or struggle. This is a practice that can be done a hundred times and little by little, it will free you from the past, and open your heart, and let you move on with your life.