Context: Throughout this transcript, Bhante Vimalaramsi is the speaker unless otherwise indicated.

guide to forgiveness meditation

an effective method to dissolve blocks

to loving kindness and living in the


by bonte vimelaromsi

copyright 2015-21 bonte vimela ramsay

all rights reserved

last updated november 2020

other books by bonte vimelaramsee

a guide to tranquil wisdom insight

meditation 2016.

meditation is life life is meditation


the dhamma leaf series 2014

moving dhamma volume 1 2012

wrath of love 2011 on upon a city suit

in 1998-2003

there is no question that forgiveness

meditation is part of loving-kindness

meditation development

it is the first step towards peace


this booklet was based on a talk i gave

in 2012 at dsmc

it was done with the intention of making

a video for the internet concerning my

basic technique of working with

forgiveness and meditation

this talk is on our website i wish to

acknowledge van

sister kem is hard work in transcribing

this talk for seeing and conceiving a

potential book

for her primary editing and offering her

own additions and advice during final


i also wish to thank a dearly departed

dhamma supporter

dr otherwingo for his contributions in

helping to improve the clarity of this

subject into a format for easier reading

this was a great contribution for us all

and david for final editing and

publishing in book form


when van sister kemmer requested me to

write a forward to this booklet i

accepted the invitation with

considerable pleasure since i esteem

being associated with this literary

endeavor of unusual significance and

immense practical relevance

it is common knowledge that a large

number of books and other literary works

have been published on the subject of

all aspects of meditative practices

leading to loving-kindness meditation

the less discerning public might wonder

why another booklet on the same subject

the author perhaps anticipating such

hesitation and misgiving has stated the

principal objective of this booklet in

very clear and precise terms

without being far too exhaustive highly

specialized or too scholarly to be of

much practical help to the uninstructed

and uninitiated or even to the average

person seeking basic concise guidance

the author has provided us a brief clear

and simple handbook which is a much felt


even a cursory glance of the booklet

should make it clear that this booklet

is an entirely fresh orchestration of

most of the salient issues of

forgiveness meditation

often the author's language is unusually


for instance here is a classic example

we can clear the runway for our

mindfulness of loving kindness to take

off by first learning to use mindfulness

of forgiveness meditation

this is an extremely powerful cleansing


page 8 the buddhist supreme and timeless

proclamation of liberation of thought

and the prioritization of the mind over

25 centuries ago is now universally

accepted by modern day scientists

as humanity advances in with

intellectual development

the quest for spiritual solace enhances

this advancement

the author clearly indicates the

principle and unique feature of the

discipline of the mind through


this booklet shows in clear and simple

terms the way towards spiritual

cleansing and dispelling psychic


a commendable feature of this booklet is

that the treatment is basic but very

precise and comprehensive

i have no doubt whatsoever that this

booklet will help the readers towards

meaningful practice of forgiveness

meditation leading to the successful

practice of loving kindness meditation

bhavatu sabha mangalam may you have all

good blessings

van handana abbott

staten island buddhist vihara


the buddha was a meditation teacher he

taught meditation for 45 years after he

became fully awakened

when you study and practice meditation

you will not be entirely successful

until you master the definitions and

interwoven nature of two words

meditation and mindfulness i can give

you the definitions but then you must

experience for yourself how these two

work together

in the buddhist teachings meditation

means observing the movement of mind's

attention moment to moment

in order to see clearly how the links

depend on origination actually work

mindfulness means remembering to observe

how mind's attention moves from one


to another this use of mindfulness

actually causes mind to become sharper

as you go as you experience more subtle

states of mind

it isn't hard to see why you must

develop this precise mindfulness to keep

the meditation going smoothly

many people practice loving kindness

meditation but

according to a few people the power of

it doesn't seem to change much for them

in their daily lives

if it doesn't take off quite right in

the beginning we might run into

difficulty with this practice and it can

be like hitting a wall

it's good to know that there is a key to

the solution for developing meta in our

daily activities

that solution is learning to smile as

much as you can remember

apparently in some cases if we do get

into trouble

we can clear the runway for our

mindfulness of loving kindness to take

off by first learning to use mindfulness

of forgiveness meditation

this is an extremely powerful and

cleansing practice

forgiveness is a form of loving kindness

that really clears our mind of negative

or unwholesome states

the reason this book came into being is

because of the many questions teachers

are asked about why doesn't my meta

arise easily

it is because we need to forgive

ourselves first before we can send out

pure love to others

chapter 1 preparation

at times there can be confusion about

how to effectively practice this


of forgiveness meditation so this

booklet is dedicated only to this

meditation on forgiveness so you can

begin the practice with a clear goal and

better understanding

when people are practicing loving

kindness meditation

you might run into a barrier as you try

to send out loving kindness to yourself

and to others if this happens after a

few days

and you are not successful in feeling

the meta in the retreat

it may be suggested for you to take a

step back and start doing the

forgiveness meditation to

overcome these blocks after all we

cannot sincerely send loving kindness

and forgiveness to someone else when we

do not have it for ourselves

this practice is not just used for a

person pursuing loving kindness and

compassion meditation

any person can make the commitment to

clean house by doing this forgiveness


after this is done for the first time

one feels many years younger

because oftentimes a great weight has

been lifted off your heart and mind

some people have the idea that this

meditation is a completely different

kind of meditation from the loving

kindness meditation

that is not so it should be made clear

from the beginning that the forgiveness

meditation is not outside of the

development of loving kindness and is a

part of meta

for anyone who has difficulty in feeling

loving kindness this can be the first


it creates a firm bridge between heart

and mind that is then used to help all

other kinds of meditation succeed

it is a cleansing for the heart another

opening of the heart we can add to our

initial practice of generosity

in truth this meditation is probably the

most powerful meditation that i know

it can clear away mental blocks that pop

up from old attachments or dislikes

towards various people

or events that happen to you and your

past life experiences

if you follow directions closely and you

are patient when you practice

then pain and suffering will gradually

dissolve any hard-heartedness you still

carry in your mind

about past life wounds when you practice

forgiveness meditation

all of the basic rules will remain the


you still sit in a reasonably quiet

space to do this work

be sure you are wearing loose

comfortable clothing

sit in a comfortable position on the

floor or in a chair

if you do use a chair don't lean into

the back of the chair

sit with your spine nicely straight but

not tightly erect

sit in a position that does not bring up

physical pain in general for you

you should follow the basics of

practicing right effort using tranquil

wisdom insight meditation

twim and the six rupees for your

meditation cycle to accomplish your goal

when you practice sit for a minimum of

30 minutes each time

sit longer if things are going smoothly

and you have the time

at whatever time you decide to break

your sitting stand up slowly

keep your observation going as you stand


stretch slowly if desired while you are


do not move at all don't wiggle your


don't scratch if your body needs to

cough or sneeze

do not hold this in just sneeze or cough

keep some tissues close by for any tears

that might arise

if tears do fall then let them come

that is what you have holes in your

eyelids for so

let the tears come out this releases the


consider this the cleansing time before

you take up any other primary


while practicing forgiveness meditation

please use only these meditation

instructions and put all other

meditation instructions aside until you

have completed the work

this just means that we don't want to

confuse mind so

don't mix up the recipe we want only the

information needed to do this practice

chapter 2 instructions

the way you start practicing forgiveness

meditation is by forgiving yourself

there are different kinds of statements

that you can use for this to help bring

up any old grudges and hard-heartedness

locked inside you

you may pick one statement to begin and

then you stay with that statement for a

period of time

to give it a chance to settle in in you

and see what comes up

the first suggested phrase is i forgive

myself for not understanding

everybody has misunderstandings that

happen in their life

nobody is exempt from this fact while

you are sitting in meditation

you repeat the phrase i forgive myself

for not understanding

after you've done that you put that

feeling and wish into your heart and

stay with that sense of forgiveness

when that feeling fades away or the mind

gets distracted

then you come back and forgive yourself

for not understanding yet again

repeat the phrase to yourself this is a


the way it works follows

silently say the phrase to yourself i

forgive myself for not

understanding let it be an open

statement or intention

continue with this phrase as the feeling

or the wish of forgiveness fades then

say the phrase again

when a disturbing thought comes up about

a past incident or person then forgive

that person or person

or yourself and then relax any tightness

that is left

there will be a painful feeling that

arises and your mind won't like it

this where the relaxed step is so

important if we react to the pain then

this keeps the cycle going

you are feeding it through your aversion

when you bring up this painful incident

you don't like and even hate this

feeling this leads to beating yourself

up and not accepting that this is only a

memory and it is long gone

accept whatever comes up and forgive and

then relax

forgive relax this is what you do each


if it is just a distraction or a

wandering mind then forgive that too

forgive anything that takes you away

from forgiving yourself

then return to your phrase yet again i

forgive myself for not understanding

do this cycle over and over you forgive

yourself first

you are the object of the meditation

then while you are forgiving yourself

you forgive anything that distracts you

from wishing yourself forgiveness

gradually disturbances fade away and you

are left with yourself

finally in the present relief arises in

the mind by throwing off these painful

memories and letting go of the reactive

mind that arises right after

for those familiar with the jannas and

have meditated before

it is necessary to not go higher than

the first jhana

you can't mentally verbalize beyond that

say your phrases for forgiveness

please make a determination to not go

any deeper

this is an active contemplative process

that we are doing now

while you're doing this your mind is

going to have some resistance to this


your mind is going to take off and say


this is stupid i shouldn't be doing this

reactions like these are part of your


these are the obstacles that we must


stay with your statement and repeat i

forgive myself for not

understanding then your mind might say

ah i don't need to do this anymore

this meditation doesn't work every

thought that pulls you away from

forgiving yourself for

not understanding is an attachment and

has to be let go and the tension and

tightness and that attachment must be

relaxed away

this is where you will use your

forgiveness any distractions or any sort

of disturbances must be forgiven

to forgive we notice we have been

distracted away from our object of

meditation or what we are doing in the

present moment

we then forgive the distraction and then


relax that tension and tightness that

arises from the distraction or


it doesn't matter how many times your

mind gets distracted

one thing that many people get caught

with is getting wrapped up in the story

about things

and this can cause lots of pain and

suffering along with some frustration

forgiveness will help you with strongly

attachments and it shows the way to

overcome the suffering they cause

recognize it let it be

relax smile come back and stay with the

feeling of forgiveness for as long as

you can

sitting should be followed by walking


if you are going to continue sitting

again where you are going to return to a

task in daily life

before you do take a stroll at a normal

pace to keep your blood flowing nicely

walk for about 15 minutes minimum in

some fresh air

45 minutes is a good maximum time for


if you are working in a restricted space

setting find a space that is level and

at least 30 feet long in length

walk back and forth and mentally keep

your meditation going

when you walk you want to walk in a way

that you repeat the phrases with each

stride as you walk

like this with a left foot take a step

and mentally say then a right step

forgive and left you

then again but say you on the right step

and then left step forgive right step

me and repeat back and forth

you can experiment and see what works it

can get into a nice cadence but all the

while it is really getting it into your

noggin to forgive

i forgive you you forgive me and keep

smiling when you are doing this

and forgive anything or anyone who comes

up that takes you away

stay with the walking i used to go for

six to eight mile walks in hawaii doing

just this practice

the idea of sitting and walking is to

create a continuous flow of meditation

without stopping

this proves you can keep the meditation

with you all the time in life

while walking at this normal pace

continue doing the forgiveness

meditation with your eyes looking down

towards the ground about six or seven

feet in front of you

do not look around keep on gently


keep smiling all the time

chapter 3 attachments

one mistake that an awful lot of people

make is they say

well meditation is just for sitting the

rest of the time i don't have anything

else to do

so i can let my mind act like it always


this is a mistake we need to consider

the idea that meditation is life and

life is meditation

you want to realize that you have

attachments in your daily life and just

because you are not sitting doesn't mean

those attachments aren't there

the whole point in doing the meditation

is for personality development

it's for letting go of old habitual

suffering bhava

and in place of this developing a mind

that is equanimity in it

the more resistance your mind has in

doing this the more you need to do it

because the resistance is your mind

showing you where your attachment is

and that is the cause of suffering this

meditation works better than anything

that i know of for letting go of


letting go and relaxing of old

hard-hearted feelings bhava

letting go of the way you think the

world is supposed to be so you can start

accepting the way the world actually is

your mind might say well i don't like


i don't like the way they said this or

that ask yourself now

who doesn't like it who is judging and


who is making up a story who is caught

by their attachment

well i am it might be helpful here to

give a definition of attachment

an attachment is anything we take

personally any thought

any feeling any sensation when we think

these thoughts or feelings are mine

this is me this is who i am at that


mind has become attached and this causes

craving to arise in your mind and body

craving always manifests as a tension or

tightness in both mind and body

craving is the i like it i don't like it


which arises in everyone's mind slash

body process

attachment is another word for craving

and is the start of all suffering

when we see that everything that arises

is part of an impersonal process

then we begin to understand what it is

like to see things with a clear

observant mind

somebody might say something very

innocently and you hear it through your

attachment and it's negative

this is why we have to learn how to

become aware of what is happening all

the time in our daily lives

when you get finished sitting in your

meditation for 30 minutes

45 minutes or for an hour and you start

walking around

what does your mind do it takes off just

like it always does

it thinks about this it thinks about


this is just nonsense thoughts most of

us think those thoughts and those

feelings that arise are ours personally

that they are not just random things but

in truth

if you feed any kind of a thought or

feeling with your attention

you make it bigger and more intense when

you realize that you are causing your

own suffering you have to forgive

yourself for doing that

this means saying i forgive myself for

not understanding

i forgive myself completely of course

your mind is going to take off again and

say ah this is stupid

this is nothing this isn't real

this isn't what is actually happening i

don't want to do this

every one of those thoughts is an

attachment isn't it

every one of those thoughts has craving

in it doesn't it

every one of those thoughts is causing

you suffering right

because of this you have to recognize

that you are doing this to yourself and

let go of those thoughts

that's just nonsense stuff anyway it

doesn't have anything to do with what

you are doing and where you are right


once you know this you forgive yourself

for not understanding

for causing yourself pain for causing

other people pain

you really forgive take a look at when

you are walking from here to there

what are you doing with your mind ho hum

thinking about this and i gotta do that

and i have to go talk to that person and

i have to do this all of that's nonsense

now this doesn't mean that you can't

plan what you need to do next

you can but just do that planning one

time as your primary topic in the

present moment

after you make up your mind what the

plan is you don't have to think about it


repeating it rolling it around again all

of that is just part of your old

habitual tendency

bhava and pali it is your old

conditioned thoughts and feelings

and taking them personally and causing

yourself pain and suffering

chapter 4 daily practice

including the exercise of forgiveness in

your daily activity is by far the most

important part of this meditation

you forgive yourself continually for not


for getting caught up in this or that

for taking things personally

how many times have you found yourself

doing this

hey i don't like the way you said that

ask yourself wh oh doesn't like what

well you said something that was hurtful

to whom

you need to stop and realize that you're

taking all this stuff personally and

it's not really personal

it's just stuff that happens forgive it

forgive it even when you're walking

along a road and you happen to kick a

rock and it hurts

forgive the pain for being there your

job is to keep your mind forgiving all

the time

that's what mindfulness of forgiveness

meditation practice is all about

the technique is not just about when you

are sitting

this is a life practice this is an all

the time practice

if you want to really begin to change

you have to be willing to go through the

forgiveness sincerely

because it will help you change a lot

you have to have patience and it helps

to have a sense of humor about just how

dumb mind can be

the more you smile and laugh the easier

the meditation becomes

chapter 5 finding balance

whenever you personally continue to

think about this and that to judge this

and condemn that

you are constantly causing yourself

suffering you don't need to do that

you want to argue with other people

about your attachments

what's the point when you really start

practicing forgiveness for yourself

or forgiveness for another person your

mind starts to get into balance and your

sense of humor begins to change

this is equanimity then you don't take


feelings and sensations and all this

other stuff personally

when you practice in this way you are

seeing life for what it is and allowing

it to be there

it's not worth going over it in your

mind and over it

and over it and over it it's not worth


it's a waste of time it's a waste of


every time you have a repeat thought you

are attached

you're identifying with that thought and

you're taking it personally and that is

again the cause of suffering

what you are seeing here is the second

noble truth

you are witnessing how craving taking it

personally is the cause of suffering

and you can't blame anybody else for it

it's yours

you are doing it all to yourself well

they said this so what

others may have their opinion that

doesn't mean i have to listen to them

i don't have to take it in personally

and analyze whether it's correct or not

because it doesn't matter the more you

forgive in your daily life and daily


the easier it is to forgive the big

things that happened in the past

chapter 6 persistence

when you're doing the forgiveness

meditation while you're sitting

you're staying with one of the suggested

statements you stay with that one

statement until you internally feel

yes i really do forgive myself for not


it's important to work this through to

really forgive can take a while

it's not just some quick fix to do in

one sitting and then you come in and say

okay now i'm done where you say i've

already done that

doing that is not where you're going to

get real change

nope you still have your attachments


you still have to continually forgive

yourself for not understanding

forgive yourself for making a mistake

that is what not understanding is about

you have to forgive yourself for judging

for condemning

for analyzing for thinking for getting


forgive everything all of the time

when i started to do the forgiveness

meditation which

i did personally for myself for two

years because i wanted to make sure i

really understood this meditation

i went through major changes there were

major changes

major personality changes if you want

that for yourself

you have to have that kind of patience

this idea of

well i've already forgiven this person

or that person

that simply isn't it a little later on

you figure out that you're talking about

how you didn't like this or that from


ah guess what who hasn't finished their

forgiveness meditation

you haven't forgiven yourself or the

other person

chapter 7 going deeper

when you start to go deeper in your

meditation staying with the forgiveness

and you do forgive yourself for making

mistakes there can come a time when

somebody comes up into your mind that

you need to forgive

when this happens you realize that you

did not ask them to come up

you do not stop and say well i need this

person to come up

they came up by themselves as soon as

that person comes up

you start forgiving them for not


it doesn't matter what they did in the

past all of your thoughts

all of your opinions of what they did in

the past just keep bringing up more


these thoughts come up because of your

attachment i didn't like that

i didn't want that to happen they are a

dirty no good so and so because they did

that to me

can you guess where the attachment is

guess where the idea comes from that i

can blame somebody else for my own


the only person you can blame for your

suffering is yourself

why because you were the one that took

it personally

you're the one who had an opinion about

it you're the one that used your

habitual tendencies over and over again

to justify the idea

that i'm right and you're wrong that's

how we cause our own suffering

the forgiveness meditation helps you let

go of that opinion

that idea that attachment and feel some


because some past person did or said

something that caused anger

resentment jealousy pain or whatever the

catch of the day was

it can have a real tendency for your

mind to get caught up in thinking about

that past event

this is called getting caught by the

story you need to forgive getting caught

by the story and then go back to your

forgiveness statement

it does not matter how many times the

story arises forgive yet again

the story's emotion will fade away after

you do this enough

this is where patience is needed

chapter 8 letting go

when you see someone else come up in

your mind somebody you really had a

rough time with and you didn't like it

someone you started hating for whatever

reason you forgive them

with your mind's eye you look them

straight in their eye and you tell them


i forgive you for not understanding the

situation i forgive you for causing me


i forgive you completely now

keep that person in your heart and

radiate forgiveness to them

if your mind has a distraction and it

pulls you away from that

you might hear in your mind no i don't

that no good so and so i won't forgive


let go of this and come back and say i

do forgive you

it has to be sincere well i'm not going

to forgive that dirty no good so and so

why not because they caused me suffering

oops wh o caused who suffering

you caused your own self-suffering

because you took it personally

and you reinforced that with a lot of

thoughts and opinions and ideas about

why that was wrong

in other words you were caught in your

craving your own clinging

your habitual tendencies and that leads

to more and more dissatisfaction

aversion pain and suffering chapter 9


it's really important to realize that

this is not an easy practice

it's hard to forgive someone when they

have really caused you harm

take a woman that has been raped or a

man who has been beaten and robbed

it's hard to forgive the person who

raped them or beat them because they

have been violated

but holding on to their hatred of that

person is keeping them attached

it doesn't matter what the action was it

doesn't matter what happened in the past

what matters is what you are doing with

what you have in your mind right now

to completely develop this practice to

the highest level means that you keep

forgiving and forgiving

over and over with your mind's eye you

look them straight in the eye and you


i really do forgive you and your mind


no i don't and you let that go and come


you say i really do forgive you

then take that person and put them in

your heart and continue to radiate

forgiveness to them

how long do you do that as long as it


for some attachments one or two sittings

is all you will need

some other attachments might take a week

might take two weeks or even longer

who knows it doesn't matter

if you need time you can take time you

have all the time there is

you will feel a very very strong sense

of relief when you let go of the hatred

you have towards these people

then anytime you think of them you kind

of think of them with a mind that says

well they made a mistake they didn't

know what they were doing

it's okay that's how you let go of an


craving that's how you let go of the

pain of that past situation

this doesn't mean that the person who

was violated is going to go up and hug

the person who did that to them

they would avoid them because they know

there is a possibility of personal harm

but they don't hate them anymore they

don't think about it anymore

they have let it go that's what the

forgiveness is all about

it's about letting go you are giving up

old dissatisfaction and dislike

you are developing a mind that says well

that's okay

you can be like that that is not taking

it personally

chapter 10 obstacles

the biggest part of the mindfulness of

forgiveness meditation is learning how

to let go of your personal opinions

ideas concepts stories

you might stay with a person for a long

period of time because of your opinions

and your attachment to this

every time you are doing any walking or

sitting meditation

keep forgiving them over and over again

your mind might get bored with that and


oh i don't want to do this anymore

well that's another kind of attachment

isn't it

so what do you do with that you have to

get through it by forgiving the boredom

for being there

that's okay your mind is tricky

it's going to try to distract you any

way it can

it'll bring up any kind of feelings and

thoughts and ideas to distract you

because it doesn't like the idea of

giving up attachments

your mind really feels comfortable

holding onto attachments

we need to go easy on ourselves as we

develop this practice

after all how many years did it take us

to build up our habits

bhava it takes patience to move in the

opposite direction now and to change

those on wholesome mind states into new

wholesome tendencies

be kind to yourself and take your time

the whole point of the meditation is

learning how to change

learning how to let go of those old

nonsense ideas and thoughts and develop

new ideas and thoughts that make you

happy and make other people around you

happy too

that's the whole reason for the precepts

they outline an option for us to follow

so we gain balance in our life

let's take a quick look at the precepts

do not kill any living beings on purpose

don't take what is not freely given to

you no stealing

don't engage in wrong sexual activity

with another person's mate or a person

too young living with their parents

in short don't do anything that will

cause mental or physical harm to any

other human being

don't engage in telling lies using harsh


gossip or slander lastly

don't take recreational drugs or alcohol

because these will weaken mind and the

tendency to break the other precepts is


these precepts are like an ultimate

operational manual for life

if you keep them well then you get the

most out of your life

they make you and others around you

happy the more you can continually

follow them

the better your frame of mind will

become you will more easily forgive that

other person

your mind will become softer towards

that person and you will feel more


what happens is after you practice this

way for a while

then you go ah i do i really do forgive


and there's no energy behind it at all

it's just like yeah this happened it's

in the past

it's no big deal this is what

forgiveness is all about

chapter 11 daily life

how can this practice affect your daily

life this is a good question

you're more open you're more accepting

you're not judging

you're not condemning you're not


because as you see that tightness of

mind coming up in you

and you go oops i forgive you for not

understanding this one

and you smile you let it go

one of the hardest things a guiding

teacher has to do is to teach people

that life is supposed to be fun

it's a game keep it light

if you play with your mind and your

attachments that means you are not being

attached to them so much

as you play with them you're not taking

them so seriously anymore

when you don't take them seriously

they're easier to let go of

that's what the buddha was teaching us

he was teaching us how to have an

uplifted mind all

of the time how to be able to be light

with your thoughts with your feelings

and your ideas and your past actions

yes it's true on some occasion you made

a mistake

well okay welcome to the human race

i don't know of anyone who hasn't made a

mistake and felt guilty about it

sure they do and what is that guilt

non-forgiveness that's an example of

your mind grabbing on to what's

happening and saying

i really screwed up and i need to punish

myself for that

that's what your mind is saying now do

you see what you can do about this

right the more you become serious with

your daily life

the more attachments you will have the

less equanimity

the less mental balance you will have in

your life

there is no question about it you're on

these roller coasters

emotional roller coasters up and down up

and down

up and down when you start forgiving


those high highs and low lows start to

turn into little waves

you still have some but you don't get

caught for as long

you just stop and say this just isn't

important enough to get upset about

chapter 12 success

after you forgive that person you stay

with them you stay with that person

that's come up into your mind until you

feel like

enough i don't have to do this anymore

i really have forgiven you at that point

with your mind's eye you look them

straight in the eye and you stop

verbalizing and you hear them say back

to you

i forgive you too wow

now this is different isn't it it's kind

of remarkable

you have this feeling of being forgiven

as well as you forgiving them

you've forgiven yourself for making

mistakes for not understanding

you've forgiven that other person for

making mistakes for not understanding

or causing pain whatever you want using

the statement that really makes it true

for you

and now you hear them say i forgive you

there is a real sense of relief wow

what happens in your mind now is that

joy comes up in your mind

you feel light you feel really happy

happier than you ever felt before you

didn't realize you were carrying these

big bundles of rocks on your shoulders

holding you down did you and now

you have put them down when you forgive

the heaviness of those hard feelings and

rocks disappear

you feel light oh my this really is

great stuff

it takes a lot of work but it's worth it

it's not easy why isn't it easy because

of the amount of attachment we have when

we begin

you keep doing the meditation and when

you get done with one person

you go back to yourself you repeat i

forgive myself for making mistakes

i forgive myself for not understanding

you stay with yourself until somebody

else comes up into your mind

you keep on doing that until your mind

says okay

i've done it everything is good

there's nobody else enough

at this time you can switch back to your

mindfulness of loving-kindness

meditation and make it your primary

formal practice

now you can understand why mindfulness

of forgiveness meditation is definitely

part of loving-kindness

how can you ever practice loving

kindness if you have hatred

you can this practice releases the


chapter 13 not easy

this practice has no simple easy fast

fix here

you can't just buy the solution this

time at the mall either

you have to patiently continue this

practice all the time until you release

the unwholesome mind states which are

your old habitual tendencies of mind

depending how attached you are to the

idea that a person wronged you

or the idea of how badly you screwed up

this leads you into i can never forgive


until you finally go through this

process of forgiveness

you will not be free of this burden you

will know when you have gone entirely

through the mindfulness of forgiveness

meditation because then you will be free

and you will see clearly this is how

forgiveness really works

are you done you don't have to have

anybody to tell you that this worked

you'll know the daily continuous work of

this practice is most

important when you are walking from one

place to another

i don't care what you are doing any kind

of distraction that comes up

forgive it smile if a person comes up to

you and they start talking and you don't

want to talk

forgive them they don't understand

they don't understand what you're doing

it's okay that they don't understand

it's okay that they don't know where you

are or what you are doing

they can judge you they can condemn you

they can cause all kinds of distractions

and that's fine they can do that

but as for you you can forgive them for


as you are forgiving them you are

letting go of the attachment to the way

i think things are supposed to be

not understanding can be a really big


because we don't understand so much we

have our own opinions and ideas of the

way things are supposed to work

that can be a problem we get caught up

by assumption

that's it isn't it what happens when

things don't match your idea of the way

things are supposed to work

what then you may find yourself fighting

with reality which is the truth

the dharma of the present moment you're

not accepting the reality that's right

there in front of you

you begin judging and condemning and

most often

blaming somebody else for disturbing you

well i'm sorry they're not disturbing

your practice

they are part of the practice there's no

such thing as something else

or someone else disturbing my practice

it's only me fighting with what is real

the reality

the dhamma of the present moment not

liking this or that

and next i am blaming somebody else or

something else for the cause of that

chapter 14 forgive it

what about sounds disturbing us while we


sometimes in a retreat if you are

concentrating too hard you can observe

what can happen

you could get so upset if there is even

one squeak of a door

or someone is walking by too heavily

near you or breathing too loudly

you might jump up thinking oh you

disturbed my practice

do you begin to see how ridiculous this

actually is

what is happening here is that the

present moment produced a noise

and there was noise and then mind came

up and said

i don't like this that's not supposed to

be there

i want to complain to somebody and make

them stop so my mind can be peaceful

what is actually happening is

concentration is out of balance with


concentration is too strong and

mindfulness is too weak

hahaha how crazy is that

if you can't accept what's happening in

the present moment with a balanced mind

there will be suffering okay

so there's a noise there's somebody


so it doesn't matter just as long as you

have mindfulness and equanimity in your


when balance is in your mind if there is

a noise

that's just fine and

you can do your forgiveness meditation

while i was in asia on a three-month


there was a water well pump that was

drilling for water right outside of the

meditation hall

three months of an old clanky motor

running from eight o'clock in the

morning until six o'clock at night

this can happen you know one continuous


it was really loud and really annoying

but it was just

sound that's all it was i realized that

it was not my sound

my dislike of that sound wasn't going to

change that sound

my criticizing of the person that

started the motor wasn't going to make

that sound any different

do you see where all the attachments are

in this example

the exercise here is accepting the fact

that sound is here

and it's okay for sound to be here it

has to be okay

because that's what's in the present


that's the truth dhamma accepting the

present moment is accepting the dhamma

just as it is

whenever there is a disturbance forgive

the disturbance continually in your mind

forgive smile forgive yourself for not


that is how we work with forgiveness in

daily life

i forgive myself for wanting things to

be more perfect than they are

i forgive myself for making mistakes i

forgive myself for being angry

and disliking this or that now we see

that the forgiveness is not just one


it can be many we take each of these

statements into the practice and use

them one by one

chapter 15 no mantras

while you're doing your sitting practice

once again

you just want to take one statement of

forgiveness at a time

stay with just one remember this is not

a mantra

you don't just casually repeat this and

then think about something else

either it must be sincere i really do

forgive myself for making mistakes or

for not understanding or whatever

it's important to be sincere when you do


the more you can continually forgive

with your daily activities

with your sitting with your walking

meditation whatever you happen to be


you need to realize that this is what

meditation is really about

meditation is not about gaining some

superhuman state of mind

it's not just about bliss it is more

productive than that

it's about learning how you cause your

own suffering and how to let go of that


the deeper superhuman states of

meditation will come up by themselves

when we clear our minds and simply allow

this to happen

you don't have to personally do anything

the more you clear yourself

the more you clear your mind of

judgments opinions

concepts ideas and the more you accept

what's happening in the present moment

the more joyful life becomes the easier

life becomes

what's that you are saying now well i

have this habit of always analyzing and


okay let it go but i have been doing

this my whole life

so hey forgive yourself for not


forgive yourself for analyzing there can

be a strong attachment to wanting to


that's the western disease i want to

know how everything works

you don't learn how things work by

thinking about them you let go and relax

to see how things work when you forgive

and you let go and relax to develop

space in your mind to observe how they


the truth is that in meditation thinking


analyzing mind is incredibly slow the

aware mind is incredibly fast

it's extraordinary you just can't get

there with a lot of words in the way

you can't have opinions in the way they

will block you

they will stop you from seeing the way

things truly are

chapter 16 blame game

your forgiveness meditation is more than

just about old attachments like

well when i was five years old little


he beat me up and i've hated him ever

since then

see how this is about you and uncovering

this attachment and how you hold on to


and how you cause yourself pain because

of that attachment

most especially these days people are

really big on blaming everybody but

themselves for their pain

and the question here should be is that

working with reality or not

it's easy to say you cause me pain

i don't like you but did someone else

cause you pain

or did i just say something and you had

another kind of an opinion

and judged and condemned whatever i said

and then your aversion came up

and the dislike of the whole situation

and now you're off to the races and

you're a thousand miles away

you are causing yourself pain and you're

running into your thinking

but i'm only thinking and analyzing ha

ha ha ha ha

you're attached you think this

attachment won't hurt me so much if i

keep distracted

i can keep my opinions and my ideas

about the way things are supposed to be

and then i don't have to change but

you're fooling yourself

change is the only way to free mind

meditation is about positive change

chapter 17 be happy

in summary buddhism is about realizing

that you need to have a balanced and

mindful mind

that doesn't have high emotions in it

that doesn't have attachments in it

so that you can see things clearly and

discover real happiness and contentment

in daily life

buddhism is about seeing the way things

truly are gaining knowledge by seeing

for yourself how you are the cause of

your own pain

it's about taking personal

responsibility and doing the work needed

to find this kind of mindfulness

balance and understanding mindfulness of

forgiveness meditation trains us to

recognize clearly when suffering arises

first noble truth to notice how we get

personally involved with it and make it

bigger which causes more suffering in


second noble truth and to escape this

dangerous trap by using the six

r's and seeing how it disappears third

noble truth

this meditation opens the way for clear

understanding and relief

fourth noble truth the end result

creates the space we need

in our mind so that we begin to respond

to life instead of reacting

using the six r's which fulfills the

practice of right effort found in the

early texts

using it with any meditation you are

doing this is one of the fastest ways

for all people to see clearly what is

really going on and to reach this kind

of destination where there can be

happiness and peace

in suta number 21 of the midshima nikaya

as translated by bikubodi

within the middle length sayings and

published by wisdom publications

it gives us some excellent advice that i

would like to share with you now

it says there are these five courses of

speech that others may use when they

address you

their speech may be timely or untimely

true or untrue

gentle or harsh connected with good or

connected with harm

spoken with a mind of loving kindness or

with inner hatred

this is how i should train my mind shall

be unaffected

and i will utter no evil words i shall

abide compassionate for their welfare

with a mind of loving kindness without

inner hate

i shall abide pervading that person

whoever you talk with

with a mind imbued with loving kindness

and forgiveness

and starting with him i shall abide

pervading the all-encompassing world

with a mind imbued with loving kindness

abundant exalted immeasurable without

hostility and without ill will

that is how i should train please use

this forgiveness meditation often and

train your mind to be happy

about the author

the principal guiding teacher is our

avid most venerable bonte vimela ramsay


trained through the burmese theravada

school in mahasi system of training

but now a declared son of a dean founder

united international buddha dhamma

society 2003

abbott for dhamma sukha meditation


study park complex 2005 present official

founder and spiritual head for the

buddhist american forest tradition

new sect bonte is head teacher for

tranquil wisdom insight meditation and

he oversees the research

practice preservation and teaching of

early foundation buddhist teachings as

found in the pali texts

he has been a monk since 1986 with over

40 years of practice and with over 12

years of that in asia

he holds the first lifetime position

given to a representative for buddhists

in the usa

to the world buddhist council based in

kobe japan

2006 questions may be sent to bonte

vimela ramsay via info at

other resources

dhamma sukkah meditation center website

vimala ramsay bonte meditation is life

life is meditation create space 2014

vimela ramsay bonte breath of love

iapasico foundation of indonesia 2012.

vimala ramsay bonte moving dhamma

volume 1 createspace 2012.

johnson david the path to nibana dsmc


2018 check our website for retreats and

more information

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thank you for listening