Making Peace

 Today I had an interesting day that ran the gamut from a hopelessly happy time with one person, to a simply hopeless experience with another. Though the latter experience, after hard work on both our parts, resolved in peace, it was still difficult. There were times in the past when I was such a finite being that difficult experiences had the power to throw me so far out of the character of love that I would not be able to find my way back for long periods of time. If I had a problematic encounter with someone, I carried it with me throughout the day, unable to be free.

I’ve changed, and I no longer carry such loads. Maybe, by the grace of God, I’ve managed to come to a faith that makes burdens light, and the yoke of faith easy. Or maybe today I was better able to appropriate grace. In either case, my conflict brought to mind the difficulties of navigating human relationships, and how necessary it is to cultivate peacefulness, lovingkindness, and joy in life. Many times, including today as I worked through the conflict with my loved one, I am reminded that mercy and forgiveness do, indeed, triumph over judgment.

Forgiveness is necessary to peacemakers, and it’s difficult to make peace when one has been hurt. One of the best means of facilitating forgiveness that I’ve learned came from Buddhism. Maybe it appeals to me because it speaks in a language that’s not as familiar to me as Christianity, because certainly both religions teach the same sort of forgiveness, compassion, and lovingkindness. But his forgiveness excersise resonates with me, so I thought I would share it.

 

Forgiveness Meditation

Allow memories, images and emotions for which you have never forgiven yourself to come up in your mind.

Can I accept that I am just an ordinary human being with some bad and some good qualities?

Did I not suffer enough from these actions?

I have learned and grown, and I am ready to open my heart to myself. When ready, say:

I forgive myself for whatever I did, intentional or unintentional.
May I be happy, free of confusion, understand myself and the world.
May I help others to be happy, free of confusion and understanding.

Now imagine yourself in front of a person you love and want to forgive.

Can you accept this person as a human being with bad and good qualities?

When ready, say:

From my heart, I forgive you for whatever you did, intentional or not.
May you be happy, free of confusion and understand yourself and the world.
Please forgive me for whatever I did to you, intentional or unintentional.
May we open our hearts and minds to meet in love and understanding.

Now imagine yourself in front of someone you have hurt.

Can you accept the other person as an ordinary human being with bad and good qualities?

When ready, say:

Please forgive me for whatever I did to you, intentional or unintentional.
May you be happy, free of confusion and understand yourself and the world.
Please forgive me for whatever I did to you, intentional or unintentional.
May we open our hearts and minds to meet in love and understanding.

Now imagine yourself in front of a person you feel very negative towards.

Can you accept this person as a human being with bad and good qualities?

When ready, say:

Please forgive me for whatever I did to you, intentional or unintentional.
May you be happy, free of confusion and understand yourself and the world.
Please forgive me for whatever I did to you, intentional or unintentional.
May we open our hearts and minds to meet in love and understanding.

Lovingkindness Meditation

May I be healed of problems, dissatisfaction and pain
May I be able to forgive myself and find peace
May I be able to live from my heart
May I be happy, with only good thoughts and experiences”

May you all be healed of problems and pain
May you all forgive yourself and find peace
May you all be able to live from your heart
May you all be happy and give happiness to others

%d bloggers like this: