Meditation on Forgiveness

For many years I have indicated this as:
"'Source unknown' If you know who wrote this, please let me know."
In March of 2013 someone wrote to me to inform me that it is from
"Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying" by Stephen Levine and Ondrea Levine; pages 81ff.
I treasure it and thank them for the work.

Reflect for a moment on that quality we call forgiveness. Bring into your mind, actually into your heart, the image of someone for whom you have much resentment.

Take a moment to feel that person right there at the center of your chest in the heart center. And in your heart say to that person: "I forgive you for anything you may have done in the past, either intentionally or unintentionally, through your thoughts, words, or actions that caused me pain. I forgive you."

Slowly allow that person to settle into your heart.

Don't judge yourself for how difficult it is.

No force, just opening slowly to them at your own pace. Say to them: "I forgive you. I forgive you for the pain you caused me in the past, intentionally or unintentionally by your thoughts your deeds, your words. I forgive you."

Gently, gently open to them. If it hurts, let it hurt. Gradually open to that person. That resentment, that incredible anger, even if it burns, ever so gently though. Forgiveness.

"I forgive you."

Let your heart open to them.

It is so painful to hold someone out of your heart.

"I forgive you."

Let your heart open just a bit more to them. Just a moment of opening, of forgiveness, letting go of resentment.

Allow them to be forgiven.

Now, opening more to forgiveness, bring into your heart the image of someone from whom you wish to ask forgiveness.

Speak to them in your heart. "I ask your forgiveness for anything I may have done in the past that caused you pain, either by my thoughts or my actions or my words. Even for those things I didn't intend to cause you pain, I ask your forgiveness."

"For all those words that were said out of forgetfulness or fear. Out of my closedness, out of my confusion. I ask your forgiveness."

Don't allow any resentment to hold yourself closed, to block your reception of that forgiveness. Let your heart soften to it. Allow yourself to be forgiven.

Let yourself be freed.

Let that unworthiness come up, that anger at yourself-let it all fall away. Let it all go.

Open to the possibility of forgiveness.

"I ask your forgiveness for whatever I may have done in the past that caused you pain. By the way I acted or spoke or thought, I ask your forgiveness."

It is so painful to hold yourself out of your heart.

Bring yourself into your heart. Say "I forgive you," to yourself. Don't reject yourself.

Using your own first name, in your heart say, "I forgive you." Open to that. Let it be. Make room in your heart for yourself.

"I forgive you."

All those resentments, the them fall away.

Open to the self-forgiveness. Let yourself have some space.

Let go of that bitterness, that hardness, that judgement of your self.

Say, "I forgive you." to you.

Let some glimmering of loving-kindness be directed toward yourself. Allow your heart to open to you. Let that light, that care for yourself, grow.


Watch how thoughts of unworthiness and fears of being self-indulgent try to block the possibility of once and for all letting go of that hardening.

See the freedom in self-forgiveness. How can you hold on to that pain even a moment longer?

Feel that place of love and enter into it.

Allow yourself the compassion, that care, of self-forgiveness. Let yourself float gently in the open heart of understanding, of forgiveness, and peace.

Feel how hard it is for us to love ourselves. Feel the pain in the hearts of all those caught in confusion. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Let go gently of the pain that hides the immensity of your love.