I have been with my spiritual teacher, Master Sha, for 9 years now. The teachings about the absolute necessity of true forgiveness as the way to resolve karma and remove blockages have been a constant thread throughout this fabulous journey with him.
I thought I had actually heard pretty much everything about forgiveness. There are certainly many techniques, prayers, mantras, and sincere intentions that are crucial to truly forgiving and releasing old harms and hurts. These are not unique to Master Sha’s teachings, forgiveness is a cornerstone of most spiritual pursuits.
Recently I was listening to a teaching by one of Master Sha’s top teachers, Francisco Quintero, regarding forgiveness. In a nutshell, and to paraphrase, he said,
“When someone hurts you, or causes you suffering, it leaves a dark mark, like a scar, on you. On your soul. The way to remove that scar is forgiveness, to let it go.”
Ah! Really? A dark mark on me? It’s not the first time I have heard the teaching, but maybe this is the first time it actually hit my consciousness. It is saying,
“It is my responsibility to forgive to heal myself.”
Another way to say it is something I have been saying for years in my forgiveness practice, to those that I have hurt and from whom I am asking forgiveness,
“I bless that you forgive and release me that you might be free from that original suffering. The pain, the anger, the suffering is bound tightly to us when we do not let it fall.”
When looked at from that perspective, what level of self-harm is caused when we say,
“I cannot forgive, I will never forget.”
I see an image of a being holding hot coals to their chest, or hauling 8 or 10 bowling balls around in a sack on their back.
The perfection and joy of forgiveness and releasing is that it can be instantaneous, costs nothing, and liberates in a powerful way.
Why do we cling to the wrongdoing that has come to us? I think it has something to do with identity, number one. Who will we be without that repetition of pain? Also, if we just let it go, did it happen? We want to be acknowledged. We want the betrayals, physical agony, impoverishment, injustice and death that we have experienced to be known, so that we didn’t suffer unknown.
Once we grab karma and start to understand that karma runs the whole show, we begin to understand that we had something to do with it, that we are paying debt. We should probably ask for forgiveness 10 times more than we give it, we have no idea what kind of harm we have done in countless lifetimes. A lot most likely. Even in this lifetime! Take a moment to look back and remember some of the things you may have said or done that caused real pain to another being. If you don’t flinch a little you are not being honest with yourself. Karma. She’s a beach.
This article is short, because the teaching itself is short, compact, all in itself.
Forgive everyone and everything, including yourself.
Ask forgiveness sincerely of all souls.
Be free, and have peace.
May your journey be blessed.