Accumulating research supports what spiritual teachers from nearly all traditions have long taught: forgiveness heals. It improves our mood and optimism, brings inner peace, and helps us recover from challenges of all kinds. Even medical doctors are endorsing that forgiveness helps patients recover from injuries and ailments. Forgiveness improves the quality of our lives, helping us to be healthier and happier.
What do we mean by forgiveness? Simply put, we mean to consciously, lovingly pardon someone; to forgive a debt or release a mistake. It’s not about who’s right or wrong. It’s about freedom and acceptance. It’s about letting go of expectations, resentment, and blame. Forgiveness frees us of negativity we might otherwise hold, which is like swallowing poison.
But true forgiveness goes farther than offering forgiveness when we are hurt or harmed. To truly regain our inner peace, we must also seek forgiveness. Most people believe that “what goes around comes around.” This is the essence of the law of karma. When we offer loving and helpful service to others, good karma is accumulated, which blesses us. When we offer unpleasant service to others, bad karma is accumulated, which can block us.
The good news is that we can transform our karma and our lives through forgiveness practice. It helps to consider that our current life experiences are somehow a reflection of our past and present karma. Thus, when we are upset or believe others should ask for our forgiveness, this is also the time that we should go into our hearts and ask for their forgiveness, for any time we or our ancestors may have hurt them similarly before. This is not always easy, but it is quite a beautiful and transformative practice.
While forgiveness can be hard to accomplish, we can succeed with some well-designed practices. We will share a practice with you, but first, here are some tips that may help you open your heart to practice forgiveness more easily:
Keep in mind that we all make mistakes. People who hurt others are also hurting inside. This will help you find compassion, which will help you forgive.
Even if you are not a Christian, you can benefit from the story of what Jesus said during his final hours: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” This helps us understand that people often hurt others in ignorance. With this wisdom, we may again find compassion for our offenders.
Remember how it feels to receive forgiveness. This will also help you offer it. Recall a time you made a big mistake and were forgiven. Remember how it felt to be forgiven. This will help you understand how important it can be to forgive.
Finally, according to karma wisdom, a very good practice is to turn your situation around. In other words, consider that you have harmed the one(s) who have harmed you, in the past. Sincerely apologize (at the soul level) and ask for forgiveness in addition to offering it. You may be totally surprised by the impact.
Here is a simple forgiveness practice you can do, adapted from the book, Greatest Love – How to Unblock Your Life in 30 Minutes a Day with Unconditional Love by Dr. & Master Zhi Gang Sha, Master Maya Mackie and Master Francisco Quintero:
Dear ____ (name your higher power, such as “God, Divine, the Creator, the Universe),
I love you.
Could you please bless my forgiveness practice?
I am very grateful.
Dear _____ (name any soul(s) you are practicing with, or you can practice with “all souls”),
I love you.
I deeply apologize for ________ (anything specific, or “all the mistakes my ancestors and I have made that have hurt or harmed you in any way”)
I sincerely ask for forgiveness
Please forgive us.
I forgive you unconditionally.
I would be grateful for your forgiveness.
Dear the “Greatest Love”
I love and honor you.
You have the power to help us love and forgive
Please bless our practice.
Repeatedly chant silently or aloud the mantra, “Greatest Love”. Close your eyes and visualize the beautiful light of Greatest Love coming into your hearts to help you forgive. Feel the Greatest Love helping you to love and forgive unconditionally while you chant. When you are finished, simply close the practice by thanking all the souls.
Love and forgiveness are the golden keys to life. This is a practice you can do daily. You can practice for any challenge by calling the souls that are involved. There is no downside. Everybody wins. Practice love and forgiveness for a happy, healthy and successful life.
Master Francisco Quintero is the co-author of Greatest Love (BenBella Books). He is a Certified Master Teacher trained by renowned spiritual teacher and humanitarian Master Zhi Gang Sha, and the author of Divine Joy: How to Find Joy in Daily Life. A leading teacher at the Tao Academy™, Master Francisco has developed training programs worldwide. With his expertise, wisdom, and knowledge, he has assisted in training over 6,000 soul practitioners and teachers around the world. For more information, please visit https://www.drsha.com/greatestlove/ and follow the author on Twitter.