Episode 13: The Healing Power of Forgiveness Meditation

The Journey of Integral Recovery Podcast

May 19
recovery guided forgiveness meditation

Episode 13:
The Healing Power of Forgiveness Meditation

What are you holding on to? Can you let it go? The twelve-step literature discusses the perils of holding onto resentments, and why learning to let go and forgive is critical to our successful recovery. Even beyond sobriety, learning to forgive offers a powerful tool for our continued evolution and growth.

Today, Dr. Bob Weathers offers a powerful experiential practice; a tool we can use to work with forgiveness, exposing our resentments and our pain to the light of compassion and understanding. By learning to hold the light with the darkness and opening to the experience of open-hearted compassion, in ever-increasing levels of subtlety, we free ourselves from the chains that bound us. Recognizing our shadow in others, we re-integrate the parts of ourselves that we have blocked off. In the process, we become more fully human. And understanding our humanity through direct experiential knowing, we can even learn to forgive ourselves.


In this episode:
[0:40] An introduction to the practice of Forgiveness Meditation, and how it serves us in recovery from addiction
[3:53] Instructions for today’s experiential practice: how to engage with the meditation
[4:11] Mindfulness of the breath and the sensations of breathing; a way to open our hearts and our intentions for forgiveness meditation
[6:24] Finding the subject for our forgiveness practice: who has harmed you? Who have you harmed? Who can you hold in your thoughts and intentions while working through the practice of forgiveness meditation?
[8:24] Working with asking for compassion, empathy, and forgiveness for the things we’ve done
[10:12] Working with asking for compassion, empathy, and forgiveness for the things we’ve said, and thought or felt; a chain of increasing subtlety
[11:10] The reversal: forgiving the other in their half of the interaction. Imagining into the motivations of another and searching for understanding
[14:02] Giving self-compassion and self-forgiveness: finding an understanding of what may have caused us to hurt others or ourselves, and feeling compassionately into what we find
[16:55] The biggest challenge of forgiveness in recovery and the benefits of sharing our experience authentically with a supportive person or community
[19:47] The difficulty of self-forgiveness, and why the practice must be ongoing. The challenges of measuring our growth and detecting our progress
[26:10] Developing our willingness to experience feelings of shame and the other dragons within so that we can learn their lessons and transcend them
[27:10] Peeling back the layers to reveal increasing subtlety, deeper healing, and continual growth. Learning to trust the suffering
[33:38] Finding hope through art, and learning to hold the light and the dark simultaneously as we use our creative practices as healing tools
[36:42] Always doing our best, and the practices of the Four Agreements
[37:38] Using our projections as a tool for shadow work and forgiveness practice: who are we judging, and what does that tell us about the work we need to do?
[38:50] Working with “unforgivable” transgressions in ourselves and others: Can we forgive? Should we?
[41:03] The distinction between forgiveness and reconciliation, and why boundaries are important to our recovery
[42:29] The “a-ha!” experience of forgiveness practice, and why this work is critical to our continued sobriety

Episode Resources:
Integral Recovery by John Dupuy
Deep Recovery – a guided meditation from iAwake Technologies
Refuge Recovery
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

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05/19/2017, 45:31, 31.2 mb (Audio)

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