I’ve been thinking about the various forms of forgiveness meditations this week as I look back over the last four weeks.
It’s been an abnormally busy spring for me. A career change and some really large scoped initiatives, a pretty solid upper respiratory infection, a trip to Cleveland to check out part of the community I’ve been away from for many years and a chance to see an old friend while making some new ones. Through all this I maintained my cadence but suffered from a loss of running for the past 3 to 4 weeks first because of the upper respiratory thing and then to changing gyms I guess. There were moments during the last four weeks where anxiety got the better of me and a good friend of mine gave me his shoulder and supported me through it. Really this post should actually speak about forgiveness, joy… and gratitude.
It was last week, however, while listening to a Jack Kronfield track about the principals of forgiveness that I was presented with the following ideas. He says you don’t have to be loyal to what happened to you. That the purpose of grief is the realization and acceptance of what happens to us. It’s always going to be something that happened, be it cancer, heart disease, divorce or deep loss. But we can bring it into our heart and forgive it along the way then let it go. Another thing I liked that he said was that joy is a moral obligation. I mean, I was like wow… that’s really the light that we have the power to make. In a world full of suffering we can share stories, food, warmth, do great work, be present, laugh, have sex, play and run. It’s in every act of love in life that we do our parts to light the way for ourselves and others around us.
Another forgiveness meditation guru I’ve been following has been Stephen Levine and his son Noah Levine. Both talk about a classic practice of asking forgiveness, giving forgiveness and then turning that energy back outwards and imagining sharing forgiveness. That last part though… they mean sharing it with the world. Again, it blew my mind a little when I started reading about these practices.
So it’s with a measure of self forgiveness that I set out my running shorts and shoes for tomorrow morning and made a really great spicy lentil, quinoa and black bean dish for lunches. Continuing my mindfulness and Yoga practices while looking inside a little more often to make sure I’m doing my part to share both forgiveness and hopefully all of my joy.