Forgive & Release: 7 Step Aspiration Practice

A sure path to happiness is to forgive and release hurtful feelings.  It is not necessary to forgive and FORGET, but in most cases it is necessary to forgive and release the pain so you can regain your power and live with more smiles in your life.

May I enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and by others towards me.

Jodi’s Forgiveness Aspiration

The 7 Step Aspiration Process is a meditation practice I found out about from Pema Chodron’s book The Places that Scare Your:  A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times.  I have adapted this specifically for forgiveness. 

This 7 step process is a bodhichitta practice designed to awaken the heart.  The original aim of the practice is to bring happiness to all and relieve the world of suffering.  This is a state of mind practice that helps one form loving kindness for all people, not just the ones we already like and wish well.

I am a believer in the power of our state of mind, or mindset.  When we have a mindset that is filled with kindness towards others we bring kindness to others and attract it to ourselves.  When we have a mindset of competition and scarcity we limit our resources and experience strained interactions with others.  So along those same thought lines, what happens when we have a mindset of forgiveness and healing for the world?  Can we heal some of the hurts of the world by maintaining and developing a mindset of grace, a mindset of forgiveness, and a mindset of emotional healing for all?  With this practice I think we can.

STEP 1.  Sit quietly for a few minutes.  Clear your mind of distractions.  Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Count down from 21 with each cycle of breath.

STEP 2.  Beginning with ourselves we craft an affirmation that connects us with an honest feeling of goodwill and encourage it to expand.  The affirmation could be:

  • “May I (or a loved one) enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and by others towards me (or a loved one).”
  • Craft a statement that speaks to your intention and fills you with a sense of well-being and peace.

Begin with ourselves, connect with an honest feeling of goodwill and encourage it to expand.  Connect with the tender part of being forgiven and forgiving.

STEP 3.  Expand to someone you easily love.  Send loving kindness and your forgiveness aspiration to a person you easily love.

  • May Shianne enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and by others towards Shianne.

STEP 4.  Cultivate a forgiving spirit for a neutral person.  Someone you encounter but don’t really know.

  • May my mailman enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and by others towards him.

Watch without judgment to see if your heart opens or closes down.  Develop awareness of your emotional response.  Use this aspiration to weaken indifference and liberate a heart of forgiveness.

STEP 5.  Extend forgiveness for one who irritates you.  When we see this person we armor our hearts.

  • May this really annoying person enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and by others towards him.

Start with the irritants not the traumas.  Start with an easier relationship then build up as your heart expands.  Those who irritate us and those who do not forgive give us the opportunity to learn how to forgive.  Without those who irritate us and hurt us we never have the chance to practice forgiveness and bring grace into the world.

STEP 6.  Completely dissolve barriers by visualizing all 5 standing before you.  Connect to a feeling of a tender heart for all 5 equally.

  • May each of us equally enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and others towards us.

STEP 7.  Expand forgiveness to all beings.  Start close and broaden your circle of forgiveness.

  • May my home enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and others toward us.
  • May my neighborhood enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and others toward us.
  • May my city enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and others toward us.
  • May my state enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and others toward us.
  • May my nation enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and others toward us.
  • May my world enjoy complete forgiveness and absolution from any transgression towards others and others toward us.

End with a sitting meditation.  Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth as you broaden your awareness of your surroundings.

Each step of the process is designed to loosen the tightness in one’s heart.  Some may choose to work up to all 7 steps.  I think the key to knowing which step to stop at is within you.  Be aware of your emotional states.  At what point do you start to feel resistance? At which point does a mental barrier require you to break concentration and stop the practice.  The next time you do the practice follow the steps until the resistance requires you to stop again.  The more you do the practice the more your heart will loosen and you will feel loving kindness to more and more people.

Some may ask…what will a barrier feel like?  A barrier will generate negative emotions within you such as numbness, inadequacy, skepticism, resentment, righteous indignation, pride, etc.  The barrier will take you out of a state a loving kindness.  If you think the barrier is just a break in meditation do the 21 breath cycle to get back into the meditative state.  If the negativity continues, know this is where you will stop for today.  Thank your body for the awareness.  Continue to work the practice on a regular basis and you will see your heart open with loving kindness and forgiveness for all people, even those who irritate you and possibly for those who have caused you trauma.

Today’s SIMPLE SMILE IGNITER is to give this practice a try.  If you do not meditate send positive thoughts or prayers that follow these 7 steps.  Remember this is a mindset practice, as you train your brain to forgive you will experience more grace in your world.  When we experience more grace we live with more smiles.

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About Jodi Rosenberg

I am a life coach, corporate project manager, and generally happy person who has chosen to express myself through the written word with the intent of making life better for all of us.
This entry was posted in Accept Yourself and Others, Forgive & Release, Mindset, Social Connections and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Forgive & Release: 7 Step Aspiration Practice

  1. This sounds like my process for forgiving and letting go. Excellent post! I hope those that need it get to see it. WRITE ON!

  2. Great post, loving the sound of this, will be trying this out. Thank you

  3. Pingback: Author Blog Challenge – Day 14 Recap « 28-Day Blog Challenge for Authors

  4. Pingback: Forgiveness « Psychology, spirituality and mental health

  5. Sonja Haller says:

    Love. Love. Love. Forgiveness, I’m finding — especially toward myself– is the key to living a more expansive, joyful life. I’ve heard of extending forgiveness to the one who irritates you. But as I go about my day I’m going to extend forgiveness and grace to the “neutral” people. How wonderful is that? Sending pink hearts and rainbows to unsuspecting postal workers, and Target ladies, and the mobile ice cream man?

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have enjoyed reading this post. We share an attraction for Pema.

  7. A very good post. Thank you.
    This is something I could really use.
    I have struggled with forgiveness, but it is something I know I need to do to move forward.

    • Thank you for the comment didoodlesaboutstuff 🙂
      Forgiveness really is a gift we give ourselves. When we release the negative emotions we release ourselves into the world in a much bigger and better way.

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