Forgiveness is fairly easy to understand, but much more difficult to accomplish. We know how holding a grudge can tie us up in knots, wake us in the night with unwanted thoughts, distract us when we want to sit peacefully. But how can we let go?
When someone has wronged us or ours, anger wells up inside to let us know there is danger, a threat to our wellbeing. We do what we can to set things right, but often that is not enough. When there is no recognition of wrongdoing on the other’s part it is hard to let go of our anger and hurt. Our stress levels stay high, damaging our own body and immune system, disturbing our digestion and sleep, setting us on a path to illness.
Through compassion for others we may find a way out. If we recognise that the other is suffering and has hurt us through their misconceptions and shortcomings, not through any deliberate effort to do us wrong, perhaps we can start on the path to forgiveness. As yogis we are acutely aware of our own failings and weaknesses, and as we learn to have compassion for ourselves, then we learn to feel compassion for others.
There is a simple ritual that may help you let go, using stones. When you are ready, quietly find three stones that represent your hurt feelings, for example find one for anger, one for sadness and one for rejection (or whatever feelings you have). Find a place where you can throw the stones into water, a pond, river or the sea. Sit quietly with each stone in turn, feeling and thinking, pouring out all of your hurt and frustration into the stone, then asking it to carry all this, send it flying into the water. Stones are heavy, they sink out of sight, so when you finish your ritual, thanking the stones, you may well feel light and free.
Here is a yoga mudra you can try. This is from the Dru Yoga website. I was searching Dru Yoga because I am joining in a three day Dru Convention this weekend
Mudra of forgiveness:
a) Join your hands together in front of you at chest level. Keep the fingers of each hand tightly together.
b) Breathe in and curl your left fingers around your right fingers and raise your hands above your head. Affirm : I forgive and let go of the past.
c) Release. Repeat with opposite hand hold.
I have done some Dru yoga at retreats and conventions during that past 10 years. This will be my first chance to go deeper! The flowing sequences are beautiful, so graceful and easy on the body. I will share more as I learn!
Meanwhile here are some titbits:
Dru Yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on flowing movements, directed breathing and visualisation. With its foundations set firmly in ancient yogic tradition, Dru works on body, mind and spirit—improving strength and flexibility, creating core stability, building a heightened feeling of positivity, and deeply relaxing and rejuvenating your whole being.