I love using meditation for forgiveness.
Techniques like meditation and mindfulness can really help when you need to forgive someone. And you can also use meditation to forgive yourself.
It has been proven that forgiveness is a core strength that helps us to maintain happiness and even benefits our health. And of course it can help us to overcome painful memories of the past.
It is not always easy to forgive. Meditation techniques can help.
In this post I’ll share with you the best meditation forgiveness techniques and why it is important to forgive– both for yourself and for the person you are forgiving.
Why I Regularly Use Forgiveness Meditation Techniques
Do you have painful memories of bad things people have done to you? If so you might notice that you have many negative thoughts (read: How To Overcome Negative Thoughts)
To stop those painful memories and negative thoughts, we need to forgive. Meditation techniques are very helpful for this.
There are some powerful types of meditation for forgiveness.
These forgiveness meditation techniques can help when you’re struggling to find it in your heart to forgive someone.
Forgiveness is important.
It is also hard.
Because there’s is just so much pain involved sometimes.
- Your ex boyfriend cheated on you. How do you forgive him? There’s too much pain. Besides, why should you?
- Your best friend betrayed you. Forgiveness feels impossible because of the painful emotions. You’re too enlightened to get revenge, but forgiveness? Impossible.
- Your parents abandoned you. Forgiveness is the last thing you’re thinking about.
- Maybe you hurt yourself and you need to forgive yourself. If so, you can use meditations to forgive yourself too.
We need to overcome painful memories so that we can feel happy. And a huge part of that is forgiveness. Techniques like meditation can help.
You need to forgive for your own sake. Because you deserve to be happy, not to dwell on negative emotions all the time.
Thankfully, we can use some meditation for forgiveness.
In my experience, this is the best forgiveness meditation
Whether you need to forgive other people or you need to forgive yourself, meditation can help.
Let me show you my favorite type of meditation for forgiveness — techniques you can rely on anytime you need to forgive someone but struggle with it.
Try this forgiveness meditation (Technique Based On Mindfulness)
As a meditation teacher I often recommend 5 key meditations for letting go. The following is my personal favorite meditation for forgiveness.
- Sit somewhere quietly with your eyes closed.
- Relax for a few minutes
- Focus your mind on your breathing for five minutes. Make sure you are very relaxed.
- Bring to mind the person who needs to be forgiven
- You will notice that when you think of this person you also think of various painful memories or thoughts. Observe these thoughts.
- This is the important bit. Every time you notice a thought about the other person (every time you experience a painful memory, for instance) say to yourself “This is just a thought. It doesn’t exist.” Imagine throwing the thought away. Now return to meditating on the person.
- Continue for ten minutes
- At the end of the meditation say, “All is forgiven”
- Visualise letting go of painful emotions.
- Express gratitude for this meditation.
- A fantastic alternative is to practice Buddhist meditation techniques such as Karuna, which increases our compassion (compassion is closely related to forgiveness).
The Hoʻoponopono Mantra for Forgiveness (Technique Based On Sacred Sound)
We can use meditation for forgiveness and we can also use mantras for forgiveness.
Mantras are spiritual words or phrases (similar to prayers and affirmations). This is a big (and fascinating) subject, so I’ve written a big free guide to mantras to help get you started.
The best mantra for forgiveness is the “H’oponopono” mantra.
The Hoʻoponopono Mantra for Forgiveness is an ancient Hawaiian Huna practice that promotes forgiveness. It is traditionally used by priests for ill individuals. Many of the cultures of Polynesia believe illness is cased by errors that anger gods. By practicing the Ho’oponopono mantra it is believed the individual will be forgiven and therefore find health and well-being once again.
The Ho’oponopono mantra for forgiveness is a cleansing mantra that asks for forgiveness. It is simple to use the Ho’oponopono mantra. Simply meditate on the breath and recite: I’m sorry. I love you. “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”
And that is the spiritual path to forgiveness.
But forgiveness is a big subject. So lets take a look at the big picture on forgiveness.
Why you should meditate on forgiveness
We’re agreed, right?
We need to forgive so we ourselves can be happy regardless of anyone else.
Thankfully, as a meditation teacher I know many powerful meditations for forgiveness which can greatly help when you find it hard to forgive people who have done you wrong (and yes, you can also use meditation to forgive yourself).
We all have people in our lives whom we need to forgive. Meditating can help us to create the understanding and compassion to forgive.
Having lived with an alcoholic father for the first twenty years of my life, there were times when I didn’t think I would ever be able to forgive him. Don’t get me wrong, my father is a good guy, but he had a weakness: alcohol, and that weakness led to a lot of pain for me, my mother, and my brother.
There were many bad times for me growing up (though perhaps that is true for all of us). And for many years I lived with resentment and anger. How could my father have done what he’d done, all those years? How could he prioritize drink over his family? There were so many “Hows” and “Whys” I could have written a novel about it.
I could have spent the rest of my life living with resentment and anger towards my father. But what would that have achieved?
I would much rather be grateful for the good in life than resentful for the bad.
What good does it do us to hold negative feelings in our hearts? None. It simply causes suffering.
We need to let go, but letting go is rarely easy.
Thankfully, meditation helps us to forgive.
If you’re not sure whether to meditate on forgiveness, consider these facts
Forgiveness is a process of change, facilitated by empathy.
When we forgive we let go of anger and negative thoughts, we accept the events that triggered anger / sadness, and we recognise the human weakness that caused the event and shifts their way of thinking from one of revenge to one of good will or acceptance.
What forgiveness is and what is is not
Lots of people are confused by what forgiveness is and what is is not.
Here’s what forgiveness isn’t:
- Forgiveness is not denial (to forgive we must face the reality of the events)
- Forgiveness is not(to forgive is not to accept wrong behaviour as right but to accept that wrong behaviour stems from human weakness)
- Forgiveness is not to pardon
- Forgiveness is not forgetting
- Forgiveness is not to reconcile (to reconcile is to have both people make amends, forgiveness is to accept a person’s error in one’s mind).
Health Benefits of Forgiveness
- Forgivenesslowers heart rate and blood pressure as well as stress.
- Forgivenessrestores positive thoughts and feelings
- Forgivenessimproves immune system response
When NOT to Forgive
While there are clearly many benefits to forgiveness, there are still some times when you should be cautious of forgiveness. These are:
- Do not forgive when still feeling angry towards the other person
- Do not forgivewhen there is a high degree of self blame
- Do not forgivebefore necessary changes have occurred to prevent repeated offense
- Do not forgivejust because you feel obligated to
- Do not forgivebefore you have recognised the human weakness that led the perpetrator to cause the offense.
Here’s another great forgiveness meditation technique
The following is a psychological technique that uses meditation for forgiveness:
- Sit quietly and focus your mind on your breath. Take 108 breaths through your nose.
- List 10 things that you have done wrong to the other person. This will help you to recognise your own transgressions, errors you yourself have made. This will help you to remember that people are human when you are wronged and therefore will help you to accept negative behaviour from others.
- Remind yourself that you are forgiving for two reasons: 1) to show compassion to the other person, and 2) because it will help with your own health and happiness
- Tell yourself that you are not forgetting, you are just reframing the way you think about what happened.
- Imagine being the other person at the tie they did you wrong. Now see things from their point of view. Consider why it happened.
- Now recite the mantra, “I release this and forgive you” 27 times.
This forgiveness meditation works because it challenges you to realise that you yourself are human and make errors, that the other person made an error (which is a natural part of life) and that you can understand why they did it.
7 Reasons You Should Use These Meditation Forgiveness Techniques Every Day
Above we’ve looked at the best meditation forgiveness techniques.
But why is it important to forgive?
Let’s take a look.
1. Meditating on forgiveness will help you accept that the other person is imperfect
No one likes making mistakes. Some people cope okay with their errors, some dwell on them.
My worst mistake was criticising my father too severely. Now he’s passed away. My father had trouble accepting himself. And I know now, looking back, that there should have been more times when I said, “It’s okay, dad. I forgive your mistakes. I love you”. I truly wish I had said that more often.
Had I meditated on forgiving my father I would have accepted his weakness and been compassionate. And that compassion would have helped both him and me.
2. Meditating on forgiveness will help you to see that mistakes actually make the world a better place
If people weren’t allowed to make mistakes, the world would never be as amazing as it is. Thomas Edison said, “I have successfully found 1000 ways to not make a light bulb.” That’s 1000 mistakes that led to one of the most important inventions of all time.
No one ever achieved anything worth achieving without making a few mistakes on the way. Failure and mistakes are the pathway to success. If you don’t allow people to make mistakes, you don’t allow them to create success.
3. Because when you meditate on forgiveness you will grow as a person
Life made you the way you are. Maybe you harbour resentments. Maybe you don’t forgive people because people didn’t forgive you.
The classic example of this is the unforgiving father, the guy who was never allowed to make mistakes as a kid, so now he himself never lets his own kids make mistakes. Such a familial pattern leads to a bloodline marred by resentment.
But that father has the power to forgive his kid’s errors. He can accept his kid’s mistakes. The moment he learns to forgive he overcomes his past and changes his future
When we meditate on forgiveness we forgive people who wronged us, we forgive ourselves, and we grow as a result.
4. Because meditating on forgiveness will improve your relationships.
When you forgive someone, they’ll forgive you, and when you forgive each other you’ll find a deep bond
If you’re unforgiving to someone, chances are they’re going to be unforgiving to you too. We treat people how they treat us. So you fail to forgive each other and you drift apart. Many relationships and friendships have died that way.
But what if one of you sucked it up and said, “You know what? You hurt me. But I understand. You made a mistake. Hell, I’ve made mistakes too. I forgive you.”
When you meditate on forgiveness, you gain the strength to be the bigger person.
And when you forgive that other person, they will forgive you for the wrongs you did too.
Sharing forgiveness is a meaningful and spiritual experience. There are times when I’ve thought I’d never forgive someone, times when I thought we’d never again be friends. But then I found it in me to say “I forgive you”. And the very act of saying those words has made our relationship stronger than it ever would have been
5. Because when you let people show you their weaknesses you earn their trust forever
It’s easy to be the person who’s there during the good times. It’s easy to want to share other people’s successes. But to want to share other people’s weaknesses? Now that’s divine.
When you allow people to share their weaknesses and their mistakes with you you form a deep bond. There are probably a hundred people in your life who would be there for the good times. How many are there for the bad times? Just the ones that matter, that handful of people who are true family.
When you show someone that you can forgive them, you let them share their weaknesses with you. And when you share in someone’s weaknesses, you form a truly deep bond
Meditate on forgiveness and you will gain the inner strength that you need to be that person who is there for people even when they mess up. And that, my friends, is a special quality.
6. Because forgiveness-meditations are massively beneficial for your health
There are over 100 benefits of meditation. And there are just as many benefits of forgiveness.
Meditating on forgiveness will massively improve your mental health.
Science has proven that forgiveness is extremely beneficial for your health. Did you know that forgiving people have lower heart rates and better blood pressure? Did you know that people who forgive have better immune systems and are more able to overcome illnesses? Those are just a couple of the reasons why you’ll be healthier when you learn to forgive
7. Because meditating on forgiving other people will help you to forgive yourself
People who expect perfection from others tend to expect perfection from themselves. The problem is that no one’s perfect. The more you expect perfection from yourself the more you’re going to feel disappointed.
By accepting other people’s mistakes you learn to accept your own mistakes too. And when you accept yourself you form a more positive relationship with yourself.
One of the best ways to learn to forgive others and to forgive yourself is to practice Loving Kindness meditation. It’s a simple, healthy practice that can make a big difference.
Now you know the importance of forgiveness in life you know why you need to forgive and forget. Why not do it now.
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation