The Heart of Forgiveness
That was who I was then…Jeff Oliver from his book ‘Forgiveness For Everyone’
It is not who I am now…
And not who I will be in the future.
A Six-Part Interactive Programme of Forgiveness:
Healing the Past to Live Fully in the Present
The first week of this series will be an introduction to the ‘Heart of Forgiveness’ programme. This will be followed by 5 weekly sessions progressing through the Forgiveness Workbook (please download and read in advance).
- Week 1 – An Introduction to the ‘Heart of Forgiveness’.
- Week 2 – Forgiveness: Physical and/or Emotional Harm.
- Week 3 – Forgiveness: Taking What Wasn’t Our’s to Take.
- Week 4 – Forgiveness: Sexual Misconduct.
- Week 5 – Forgiveness: False & Harsh Speech, Gossip & Slander.
- Week 6 – Forgiveness: The Suffering Caused by Intoxication.
Please read all the information on this page. The registration link is at the bottom of this page.
The entire programme consists of six 90-minute online Zoom meetings. Attendees are expected to commit to participating in all six sessions. Each session will be flexibly structured as follows:
- Serenity Breath Meditation to arrive (10-minutes)
- Talk (20 to 30-minutes)
- Forgiveness Bhavana (20 to 30-minutes)
- Interactive check-in, sharing and Q&A (30-minutes)
- Wise-heartedness Meditation to close.
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 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.
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 future.
- Understand the importance and healing power of forgiveness.
- Cultivate 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.
This programme is offered freely with an open mind, with an open heart and with open hands. This follows the Buddhist tradition of Dana (the cultivation and practise of the virtue of generosity) where you are invited to contribute financially to the teachings based on your individual income and the value that you place on what has been offered. Vince’s livelihood and the future of ‘Hungry Ghost’ retreats are dependent on the generosity of Dana.
The offering of Dana (US$ or Euro or GBP) is optional and voluntary. Dana can be offered any time via PayPal at https://www.paypal.me/nalagiri
For donations by Credit/Debit Card or bank transfer or cheque (GBP/Euro) see https://hungryghostretreats.org/dana-donations/
The maximum number of participants for the Forgiveness Programme will be 15. Please do not register to attend unless you can commit to being present for all six sessions.
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.
Saturday sessions last 90-minutes starting April 3rd, 2021 at:
8:00 am BST (eg Dublin/London)
9:00 am CET/CAT (eg Europe/Botswana)
10:00 am EAT (eg Kenya)
12:30 pm IST (eg India)
2:00 pm ICT (eg Thailand)
3:00 pm AWST (eg Perth – WA)
6:00 pm AEDT (eg Sydney – NSW)
8:00 pm NZDT (eg New Zealand)
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing your link to join the sessions.
The latest version of the ‘Forgiveness Workbook‘ can be downloaded free from here –
Please contact retreats@HungryGhostRetreats.org if you need more information.