The Practice of Forgiveness
This is my weekly email newsletter for July 5th, 2016. Subscribe here. No spam, just me.
When I started this newsletter in November 2015 I thought I would mostly talk about how I’m building my new startup, Leade.rs. Last week I talked about how TED Speakers were obsessed by their own death. I find myself writing a lot about personal stuff, too. My newsletter is my new blog. I write about things that I notice and learn about, both in my business and personal life. I hope it works for you, as always feel free to hit reply and let me know what you think.
When I did my 10 day Vipassana silent meditation retreat a few years ago I noticed we ended with a very powerful meditation. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others to clear the past. I found it very powerful but then forgot about it.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Kornfield, one of the key teachers to bring Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. I meditated and discussed with him and Leila Janah at his beautiful meditation center Spirit Rock. I am now reading his book “A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path through Difficult Times” and I find the chapter about the practice of forgiveness particularly resonates.
“Without forgiveness, we are trapped in the past, carrying forward and repeating the sufferings we’ve experienced, from generation to generation.”
Jack Kornfield explains that when one of his teachers taught him the forgiveness practice, he said “Why don’t you try it twice a day for five minutes, then after six months, let me know how it’s going.” Jack forgave himself and others three hundred times before evaluating the effects of this type of meditation.
“Release the past. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Don’t harden your heart.”
I have not tried it for 6 months yet, but I meditated many times last week using this practice. I tried to write down in my morning notes everything I have done in my life that I should be forgiven for -which took 500 pages :-). Then I wrote down notes about those who I remember made me suffer and why.
“There are events in your life that you believe to be absolutely un-forgivable. But sooner or later, for your own good, your heart will realize that you need to let go.”
This applies to both what you did (your guilt) and what others did to you.
“However we can, we need to forgive, to wash away the anger and guilt and blame that we carry. And once we’ve learned how to forgive ourselves, we will be able to ask forgiveness from others for the ways we’ve harmed them out of our ignorance and suffering.”
I am working on forgiving myself and others. It’s been one of the most powerful meditation practices I have ever done. I am starting to feel so light.
Do you meditate? Have you ever practiced forgiving meditation? I want to hear about it.
This applies to business too. It’s tricky as a CEO as you need to manage, hire and let go of people. I will save that for one of the future newsletters.
Talking about business, we should be able to release one particular feature of our application in a few days. We used it to curate our next event on Virtual Reality “Learn with Leaders VR” on July 11th 6 to 9pm.
As I write this 211 friends registered and there are 60 seats left. I will be surprised it doesn’t sell out in the remaining 7 days. Grab a ticket if you want to join us.
Don’t forget to be extraordinary.