Opening Your Heart During Difficult Times
David Lusch explains how forgiveness can lead to true spiritual freedom and offers practices for the body, soul, mind and sound.
by David Lusch
The current times are challenging the very core of humanity to become more grounded, clear, and aligned with positivity and meaning. In this endeavor, we may need tools and practices to help us along our way.
One powerful tool is the practice of forgiveness, which can help us through anything. Forgiveness helps us to open our hearts, let go of our troubles, and experience more love in our lives. Forgiveness brings clarity, alignment, and inner peace.
Research shows that forgiveness brings great benefits for our health, including to help improve our immune response, regulate our stress response, reduce our overall level of anxiety and depression, lower risk of heart attack, improve cholesterol levels and sleep, reduce pain and much more (please see the end of this article for references).
Like many forms of meditation, forgiveness practice can bring us into a more balanced and expanded place, and fortunately, it is easy to implement. Quite simply, it involves a sincere invocation of forgiveness and other forms of support, such as repeating or chanting a forgiveness mantra and visualizing light. The key is to practice with sincerity, which engages the heart.
Forgiveness practice helps us to develop a more loving and compassionate heart, which is important during challenging times, and may be especially helpful for those challenges that we may not readily feel a sense of ‘personal responsibility’. For example, it can help us transform our unrest about political issues and group conflicts, natural disasters, and community and global concerns such as the current pandemic.
Think for a moment about what it would be like if crises like these were experienced with a more fully opened and kind heart. To be able to open our hearts during upsetting world events and circumstances is a significant and powerful gift to ourselves and to everyone around us. It can help us to peacefully observe what is happening and connect with it and everyone more authentically, with less judgment and more love. We can then help others to do the same. With open hearts, we more easily recognize that we’re all in this together and though concrete actions and decisions may need to be made individually and broadly, a key part of the solution is to offer love, forgiveness, honor and respect so that everyone feels good in the process.
Forgiveness practice is a key method to release attachments to our personal views and our pain and suffering. It may not remove the experience of pain, but it can help us not to suffer as we honor and release pain as it arises. Letting go of our attachments opens us up to all possibilities, including unconditional love and forgiveness. Whether there is a right or a wrong becomes less relevant. What becomes more relevant is how we get to a better place, and perhaps help others to do the same. Even if tough decisions or actions are in order, with forgiveness practice, these can come from a place of greater objectivity, love, and forgiveness, and therefore be done in the best possible way.
So, how can we practice forgiveness to open our hearts and release our attachments, pain and suffering in the face of any kind of challenge? In some ways, believe it or not, this is the easy part, and this article will share an approach to doing just that. However, like every life-affirming habit we can develop, it takes discipline and a willingness to do it. There may be moments during which you’d rather do anything else than to open your heart and let go of the pain, but if you are determined and sincerely practice, it’s precisely these moments that can lead to huge breakthroughs that support and encourage genuine change in your life on all levels. This is where true, lasting transformation could occur.
Take fear as an example. Often during challenging circumstances in life or in the world, one may suffer with fear. Below is a slightly modified example of a forgiveness practice for transforming fear from the book Greatest Forgiveness – Bring Joy and Peace to Your Life with the Power of Unconditional Forgiveness by Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha, Cynthia Deveraux and myself. We will apply the Four Power Techniques™ taught by Master Sha.
Place one palm on your lower abdomen, below the navel. Place your other palm over a kidney (you can alternate between kidneys during the practice) or simply place it on your heart chakra in the very middle of your chest. In traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys connect with the unbalanced emotion of fear in the water element, while the heart chakra can also give you access to your overall emotional body.
Try speaking the following aloud to say ‘hello’ to outer and inner souls:
Dear _______ (Divine, Source, Creator, God, Universe, or whatever you believe),
Dear all spiritual fathers and mothers in all realms,
Dear Heaven and Mother Earth,
Dear countless stars, planets, galaxies, and universes,
Dear souls my ancestors and I have harmed in any way related to fear across all time,
Dear soul, heart, mind, and body of my kidneys (or my heart chakra),
I love you all.
Please forgive my ancestors and me for the mistakes we have made across all time causing others to be fearful or frightened or where we have hurt others through our own fear.
We unconditionally forgive others who have caused us any fear.
Please heal and transform my fear.
I am very grateful. Thank you.
Visualize your kidneys (or your heart chakra) shining golden light.
Repeat or chant the below (silently or aloud) for as long as you wish to practice:
I forgive you unconditionally.
You forgive me unconditionally.
Bring love peace and harmony.
When you are finished, pause and say ‘thank you’ to all souls and invite them to ‘kindly return’ – return to as, or where, they were before you called them in your practice.
This type of practice can be done for any situation or problem by changing the topic of fear to any topic you wish to work on transforming. If not sure where to place your palm, place it on your heart chakra. With this practice, you can take charge of your disharmony and enter into a state of compassion, love and forgiveness. It can help you open your heart and heal the blockages associated with the disharmony you experience. It works by filling the soul, heart and mind with high level positive messages and frequencies. This enables you to begin to make changes on every level, including your physical body and life.
Forgiveness practice is truly golden, meaning it is invaluable to our transformation. There is nothing to lose except pain and suffering, and a lot to gain, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance and growth. It positively impacts all the souls involved. Forgiveness is a pathway to inner joy, peace and freedom.
If more people practiced forgiveness, we would see great changes in the world. Start with yourself. Change your world by opening your heart with forgiveness practice. When the world challenges you, practice forgiveness. If you want to be free, practice forgiveness. Observe how it impacts the way you move through life and all the people with whom you interact.
It is my hope that we can all open our hearts further during the toughest of times through forgiveness practice, leading us to a more enlightened, balanced, and peaceful life.
Find out more:
David Lusch is a Master Teacher of Tao Academy and the co-author of Greatest Forgiveness: Bring Joy and Peace to Your Life with the Power of Unconditional Forgiveness (BenBella Books, £9.99)