How to Forgive | Self & Others

How to Forgive | Self & Others

During my sabbatical in 2015 I volunteered in a 10 days Vipassana Meditation Retreat Centre in Dharamshala, at the foot of Himalayas – North India.

Every evening, volunteers would meet up with the teachers to review the day and discuss any issues or challenges. We closed every meeting with the two ‘prayers’ or ‘intentions’ below.

#1 | Forgiving Yourself

“I do seek pardon. I do seek pardon. I do seek pardon from all of those, I might have hurt or harmed, knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, through my deeds of thoughts, words or actions.”

#2 | Forgiving Others

“I do pardon. I do pardon, I do pardon all of those, who might have hurt or harmed me knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally through their deeds of words, thoughts, and actions.”

Although I would pride myself for easily forgiving people and letting go of resentment, when I heard these statements for the first time I was deeply moved. As a matter of fact I had a few tears dropping. Since then I’ve been trying to incorporate this simple yet profound practice into my life. It takes me less than a minute to recite it mentally before falling asleep and it feels great. I highly recommend it! 😊🙏

The Science

According to the VIA Institute of Character, Forgiveness, together with Humility, Prudence, and Self-regulation, is a character strength classified under the Virtue of Temperance.

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What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness means to extend understanding towards those who have wronged or hurt us. It means to let go. In many cases this is the letting go of some or all of the frustration, disappointment, resentment, or other painful feelings associated with an offense. Forgiveness, and the related quality of mercy, involve accepting the shortcomings, flaws, and imperfections of others and giving them a second (or third) chance. As the expression goes, it is letting bygones be bygones, rather than being vengeful. It is a process of humanizing those who have led us to feel dehumanized.

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