Forgiveness and Letting Go Of Anger

HushYoga - ForgivenessPerhaps the best gift that we can give to ourselves and others is to let go of our anger. This is not ‘a dream devoutly to be wished’. It is possible. It does require some effort and determination on our part. Believe it or not, the essence of our meditation practice is the practice of forgiveness. This may sound a bit shocking, but we must expand our limited field of awareness from a contracted state to one of pure energy (in other words, enlightenment!).
Who is it that you cannot forgive? Each of us has a list, which may include ourselves (often the hardest one to forgive), as well as events, institutions, and groups.
Isn’t it natural that we should feel this way about a person or event that has injured us —perhaps severely and irrevocably?   From the ordinary standpoint, the answer is yes.  From a larger perspective, the answer is no. We need to vow: I will forgive even if it takes me a lifetime of practice. Why such a strong statement?
The quality of our entire life is on the line. Failing to grasp the importance of forgiveness is always a part of any failing relationship and a factor in our anxieties, depressions, and illnesses—in all of our troubles. Our failure to know joy is a direct reflection of our inability to forgive.
So why don’t we do it? If it were easy, we would all be enlightened. The truth is that it is not easy, even though we may repeat the line, ‘I should forgive, I should , I should…’ Such desperate thoughts help very little. Analysis and intellectual efforts can produce some softening of the rigidity of non-forgiveness, but true or complete forgiveness lies in a different dimension.
Non-forgiveness is just a bad habit. It is rooted in our habit of self-centered thoughts and actions. When we actually believe in such thoughts, they are like a drop of poison in our water glass. The first and most formidable task is to label and observe these thoughts until the poison can evaporate. This, of course, is a part of our mindfulness meditation practice. By shifting our perspective, we can see and experience the physical sensation of our anger, without clinging to our self-centered point-of-view. The transformation from anger to forgiveness, which is closely related to compassion, can take place because we have moved from our dualistic worldview to the non-dual, non-personal field of experience that alone can lead us out of our maelstrom of non-forgiveness.
Only an acute realization of the critical need for such practice will enable us to do it with strength and determination over the course of time. We have no other choice if we wish to mature in our practice and in our outlook.