The Heart of Forgiveness Workshops

What Have You Got To Lose?

That was who I was then…
It is not who I am now…
And not who I will be in the future.

Jeff Oliver from his book ‘Forgiveness For Everyone’

A Six-Part Interactive Programme of Forgiveness:

Healing the Past to Live Fully in the Present

In the first week of this programme, we will explore what might be gained, and might be abandoned by cultivating Forgiveness.

This will be followed by 5 weekly sessions exploring and practising Forgiveness through the lens of the Universal Precepts as presented in the Forgiveness Workbook (please download and read in advance). 

  1. Week 1 – Forgiveness: What Do You Have to Lose?
  2. Week 2 – Forgiveness: Physical and/or Emotional Harm.
  3. Week 3 – Forgiveness: Taking What Wasn’t Our’s to Take.
  4. Week 4 – Forgiveness: Sexual Misconduct.
  5. Week 5 – Forgiveness: False & Harsh Speech, Gossip & Slander.
  6. Week 6 – Forgiveness: The Suffering Caused by Intoxication.

Please read ALL of the information on this page before registering for this programme.

The entire programme will consist of six 2-hour online Zoom meetings. Attendees are expected to commit to participating in all six sessions. Each session will be flexibly structured along the following lines:

  • Serenity Breath Meditation to arrive (10-minutes)
  • Talk (30-minutes)
  • Forgiveness Bhavana (30-minutes)
  • Interactive check-in, sharing and Q&A (40-minutes)
  • Wise-heartedness Meditation to close (10-minutes)

In our compulsions and confusions, and in our waking up from the same, we can be immobilised by our sense of guilt and shame about events that have happened in the past.

Much of the material in these six workshops is based on ancient ‘Buddhist’ principles and practices but you do not have to be a ‘Buddhist’ to benefit from this programme.

It can be very positive and beneficial to develop Forgiveness Bhavana – (Bhavana = to bring into being; to cultivate) – particularly in the early stages of practice. We can learn to acknowledge and then express sorrow and regret for the hurt and harm that we have caused to others, to compassionately forgive ourselves; and we can also extend – when we feel ready and able – forgiveness to others.

We can learn to bring forward memories about things that have happened in the past in a way that is skilful; without re-traumatising ourselves or others.

During this programme, we will use the Five Universal Precepts to understand how harm is caused and as prompts to recall past mistakes, failures and wrongdoings.

We will use the healing practice of Forgiveness Bhavana to examine how we have harmed ourselves and other people; and how others have hurt us, then, when we feel ready and able, we can let it go.

Optional Self Study

Each week participants will be sent suggestions for optional self-study, optional Gāthā and Meditation Practices, and salient references from the previous week’s Forgiveness workshop.

Some potential outcomes from this programme:

  • Understand through the lens of the Five Universal Precepts how harm is caused; and how it can be avoided in the future.
  • Understand the importance and healing potential of forgiveness.
  • Cultivate both mindfulness and meditation practices (bhavana) that facilitate and promote ongoing forgiveness.
  • Learn to embrace ‘impermanence’ and reframe ‘self’ identities of ‘victim’ and/or ‘perpetrator’.
  • Explore ‘community’ and shared experience with the interactive component of the programme.

Anonymity and Confidentiality

In order for this programme to be a place where we can feel safe to share about our forgiveness practice, where we can feel safe to share about our spiritual aspirations and where we can feel safe to share our personal stories; and to create an atmosphere of openness, it is expected that – 

  • who you see during these sessions remain anonymous,
  • and what you hear during these sessions remains confidential.

Disclaimer #1 (Kamma)

Each participant is responsible for anything he or she does with any of the information and practices contained in this programme. Accepting personal responsibility for our own cognitive and affective states, accepting ownership of the consequences of our actions, the ownership of our own kamma, is a fundamental premise of Buddhism and of this programme. If you cannot accept this, please do not register for this programme: there are plenty of alternative approaches, and programmes that are offered specifically for the victims of disease, circumstance and persuasive suggestion.

[*Disclaimer #1 inspired and adapted from the free book ‘Craving and Aversion as Addiction and Denial: Buddha’s Eightfold Path as a Step Program’ by Bradford Hatcher]

Disclaimer #2 (Health)

The information and resources on the HungryGhostRetreats.org website and in related retreats or workshops are provided for educational and informational purposes only. The information should not be a substitute nor replacement for advice from mental health or medical professionals. You agree not to use any information found on the HungryGhostRetreats.org website or in our retreats or workshops to diagnose or treat mental health, psychiatric illness, or medical disorder. Do not ignore advice from mental health or medical professionals because of the information you read on our website or on the Internet.

Seek immediate help from a mental health professional, medical professional, or a crisis clinic:

  • if you have suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself or other people
  • if you cannot care for yourself
  • if you are abusing drugs, alcohol, or other harmful substances.

By registering for this programme you acknowledge that you have read and understood all the information on this page, and you commit to participating in all six sessions of the programme described above. You must register once in advance to participate in this programme.

EVENT PRICES CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS

To avoid the need for cancellation please ensure that you are clear about your dates and costs before you book this course.

Upon registering for the course you must be committed to attending all six workshops. The cost for the course includes a fee for the teacher.

These prices go towards the running of the event and include financial support (dana) for the teacher. Vince’s livelihood and the future of ‘Hungry Ghost’ retreats are dependent on the generosity of dana. No additional dana (donation) for the teaching is expected. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Suggested:  £ 145

Sponsor:  £ 190 – A voluntary higher rate enabling us to offer supported rate places.

Supported:  £ 99 – For those unable to afford the standard rate.

You are encouraged to pay the sponsor rate if you can.

Scholarship

If you are unable to afford the supported rate please let us know at admin@HungryGhostRetreats.org

We try to ensure that no one is turned away because of a lack of funds providing places are available.

IMPORTANT – By registering for this programme you acknowledge that you have read and understood all the information on this page and you commit to participating in all six sessions of the programme described above. You must register once in advance to participate in this programme.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing your link to join the sessions.

Cancellations and Refunds

  • If you cancel your registration more than 7 days prior to the first workshop you will be refunded your payment less a 20% cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel your registration less than 7 days prior to the first workshop you will be refunded your payment less a 50% cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel your registration after the first workshop no refund will be paid.
  • Cancellations must be made in writing and will only be accepted from the named participant and not from third parties.
  • Any refunds may take up to 5 working days to be processed.
  • Hungry Ghost Retreats reserves the right to cancel any bookings that are deemed unsuitable or inappropriate
  • All cancellation fees go into the Scholarship Fund to help those of limited means attend future courses.

Exceptional circumstances

At the discretion of Hungry Ghost Retreats, cancellation fees may be waived in exceptional circumstances. Requests should be made by email addressed to admin@HungryGhostRetreats.org setting out why you needed to cancel your booking.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing your link to join the sessions.

The Forgiveness Workbook

The latest version of the ‘Forgiveness Workbook‘ can be downloaded free from here – 

https://5th-precept.org/fifth-precept-sangha-downloads/

Please contact retreats@HungryGhostRetreats.org if you need more information about The Heart of Forgiveness workshops.

Questionnaire: How Forgiving Are You?

Forgiveness Quiz: How Forgiving Are You?

Previous ‘forgiveness’ workshops and related events:

A Template for Forgiveness (Saturday, January 23, 2016)

Transgression & Forgiveness (Wednesday, May 13, 2020