Tara Brach leads a guided meditation on Forgiving Ourselves and Others as part of Metta, and loving-kindness. Sometimes the body tends to tense and resist.

Forgiving ourselves and others is an ongoing process that arises naturally as a part of our humanity. Since we all carry some instinctual tendency to protect and defend ourselves when we fear we might be hurt, opening our hearts to life and to others – even in the face of our hurt – is a deeply nourishing practice that brings us back into a wholehearted acceptance of life’s flow.

Releasing Tension and Contraction

The body’s tendency to physically contract or tighten coincides with our mental tendency to resist or contract to life. In this talk and guided meditation on forgiveness, Tara Brach invites us to scan the body for tension or contraction and then to invite forgiveness into each unpleasant sensation that we come across. She explains that forgiveness is, in essence, a letting go of aversion, or simply a letting be.

Forgiveness in Loving Kindness

Metta, or loving kindness, practice is a traditional part of the Buddhist tradition. Forgiveness is involved in these practices as they call us to open our hearts and connect deeply and non-judgmentally with ourselves, with others, and with the world around us – despite all perceived differences and past hurts. Loving kindness practices can help us to witness and release all the ways that, as Tara Brach describes, “we push ourselves out of our own heart.” After opening ourselves to ourselves, we widen this practice to embrace, love, and forgive others and the world at large.

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