The Blessing and the Curse of Feeling Other People’s Emotions

When I go to a store, or any place where many people visit, I am generally overwhelmed by all that is there. After visiting a mall I am completely exhausted. Sometimes, visiting a grocery store is enough. I am happiest and most at ease in a forest by myself or with a friend. Preferably deep in the forest.

When I am in conversation with someone, I sync with their field. I feel their mood. Sometimes I am uplifted, sometimes I feel a downward pull. I may observe specific emotions as well. It is as if entering through interaction a joint field, a joint atmosphere of emotions. We each contribute our part in it. Our emotional currents and flows affect the joint outcomes.

When I walk out of a meeting, the connection often persists. The event does not end when we part, it may continue for an hour, a day, a week or even several weeks. I notice that whatever I feel is likely a reflection of whatever the other person is feeling. If the other person drinks alcohol, I might get very tired. It has happened that when the other person took a falling asleep pill, I became dizzy and disoriented as if getting the anesthetic myself ( I checked afterwards from the person and found out what they had done at the time when I was feeling disoriented).

It is not only afterwards that the effect persists. Often, before a meeting, I already start feeling the connection. As if we already are meeting, or as if I am already preparing for it by connecting over the distance to whoever is participating. I feel whatever the emotional currents and states will be, among the meeting or among the participants who attend.

In some cases this is great. Having access to this information about a joint event is extremely valuable and useful. It lets me deal with whatever is to come, on an emotional level, already beforehand. As a result, in the meeting itself, I am able to interact in the best possible way to obtain whatever goals there are. In another way, this is a huge burden. If I am giving a lecture to 200 people, already weeks before, when I start preparing the lecture, I feel the emotional states of the participants. It is as if I am in a laboratory with them the whole time. Imagine the amount of information that I am connected to. And this is just one lecture. Imagine that I had a lecture every week, to 200 people. How much information is that?

The ability to observe and to heal go hand in hand

But I am not only a receiver of this information. As it turns out, I have the ability to not only to observe but also to have an effect on both the emotional and the mental body of a person over the distance. This means, that I can observe, feel and find ways to unblock emotional blocks over the distance. Even to start healing wounds, although that is a slow and individual process. Sometimes I can also observe, and make changes to thoughts and trains of thoughts.

What a great manipulative tool!  You might say. Yes, it is exactly that. But imagine that you are unable to not be connected to these emotions and these thoughts? Imagine if you could hear many people’s states all the time, not having a way to shield from them?  To be connected to their suffering as well. So, if I were to cause suffering to a person, I would feel that too.

As a result, I have enormous responsibility. Of doing right by everyone that I am connected with. I feel the consequences very directly. Not only that: if an organization that I am in connection with suffers a blow, I feel its aftermath within large parts of the organization. I feel it through whomever I am linked with within the organization.

When do these emotion links begin?

Being present in the same space is enough to create a link. Registering for an event, that is, having an intention of being in the same space, can create the same link as well. Also talking online, or even just interacting through Facebook feed may create a link. However, I receive the most amount of links when I am a speaker in an event. It seems that when people anticipate hearing a lecture from me, they quite often open a data flow with me, or I with them. When I am a mere participant, the effect is much smaller.

Are there ways to regulate access to your emotions?

Yes. Some people shield themselves, they have very clear borders and they regulate by themselves the access to their fields. In their presence, I am very much at ease. They hold within their emotional states. To me it is at the same time a lack of transparency but in a relieving way, and a lack of access. I don’t receive constant stream of data from them. Only their speech, facial expressions and so on are known to me.

When a person ”opens up” to me, their data becomes visible to me. There can also be degrees: a person may open part of their data while keeping other data hidden. Think of it in terms of computer analogy: someone might have ”public data space”, ”private data space” and ”access restricted data space” where the last part access can be given to specific trusted individuals. Mostly we are not that aware of whom we give access to which part of our data spaces. In addition, you might think of the analogy of ”read access” vs. ”read-write access”.  With only read access, I can observe. Read-write access lets me also make changes.

When someone asks me for a healing, generally they trust me and therefore give me the read-write access at least to some parts of their being. If they do not do this, then I cannot help even if I understand the problem. These access rights can to some degree be given consciously, by deciding to do so. The same applies to denying access to your data.

Is this specific to me, or generally applicable to people?

While I talk about myself and my experiences and observations concerning interaction, I believe these are general principles that work for many others as well.  Discussions with others have confirmed that I am not alone with these abilities.  Some people are naturally more open to the information flows from others while others may be more shielded also from the incoming flows.  Overly sensitive people, including introverts and those who get exhausted in the company of others, may be the ones more susceptible, more open concerning these flows of emotional data.

The Blessing and the Challenge

The fact that introvertedness is considered a personality trait shows how difficult it is in reality to change these matters. If you are susceptible to other people’s emotions, perhaps you have worked for years to find a solution to it, such as trying to learn to shield yourself or enforce your own borders, and still only found partial relief. We cannot escape sensing each others’ emotions. That is a blessing and a challenge at the same time. It means that we cannot inflict suffering on others without experiencing it ourselves. On the other hand, it means also that if our surroundings are in pain for whatever reason, it becomes also our pain. And if we can relieve the suffering in our surroundings, we very concretely feel the healing within ourselves as well.

The wonderful potential in this is that one has the means to start helping others in an extensive way. However, first one must find the means of healing and positive transformation within oneself. Maintaining stability and peace within the bombardment of all these energies is the challenge.

My final sentiment is beautifully expressed by the Rag & Bone Man in the song I’m only human.  Please listen to it with me.

On Healing And Consciousness

What is Energy Healing?

Joining now? Please read the starting post first. It will tell you why I have started this blog and what is the objective eventually. We are not there yet, though. This is a time of introducing terms and concepts by using them, so that we start to slowly understand what each other means by a particular term. It takes time to understand each other’s language. Especially since there has been reasonably little open discussion about energy healing even among the various traditions that do some kind of energy work.

I use energy healing loosely to describe any kind of work with energies, with the individual energy field or with the collective energy field, in a healing manner.

By healing I refer to a change towards wholeness, connectedness and aligned. To be healed is to be whole, connected, and appropriately aligned. Wholeness refers to wholeness on the soul level, i.e. that there are no misplaced soul pieces, either extra pieces taken from another, or missing pieces that need to be retrieved. In addition, it refers to wholeness on the various levels of the emotional body: that its layers are healthy, strong, have no holes, and are not porous. There may yet be other aspects of wholeness that are not included in this description, and yet need to be described.

Being connected refers to having exactly the appropriate kinds of connections between different parts of the human energy field as a whole. This includes connections within oneself, as well as connectivity with other people (and the ability to make healthy connections and stay away from unhealthy ones). It also includes being appropriately connected to universal sources of energy from below and from above. Being aligned is a condition I feel belongs to the definition of being healed. However, at this point I am not yet ready to describe what I mean by it.

Discussing energy healing without talking about consciousness seems incomplete. While ‘energy healing’ is a way of describing certain phenomena in terms of so-called energy, another approach to these phenomena may open up from the direction and using the concepts related to consciousness.

Individual consciousness

Conscious, sentient beings are able to observe their surroundings. The same faculties of observation can, with practice, be turned towards observing the mind itself. While we easily learn to observe outside events during our life, starting to observe one’s own mind requires particular effort. What happens ‘out there’ has a strong pull,  a power to grab our attention. What happens within may remain unnoticed – at least until a life situation arises that is difficult enough, or restricting enough, that the old forms of working with the world do not seem to suffice. The gaze is then finally shifted inwards.

Practicing concentration through observation of the mind

Just as with learning any other skill, observing one’s own mind is a skill that can be learned by anyone who is motivated enough to put in the time and effort to do so. Our capacity of making distinctions within the internal observation space grows only with practice – there are no shortcuts. Just like there are no shortcuts in learning to skate, or in learning to drive a car: inevitably one must practice a lot to learn the new skills required.

At first, we may need to limit the amount of outside stimulation, to be able to observe what goes on within. Observing what goes on within may be so uncomfortable that we avoid it at all cost. Restlesness, anxiety, and slumber are possible ways of avoiding the inner experience. Over time and after repeated practice, however, the internal gazing becomes more habitual.

For some, before practicing meditation, one must learn to relax first the body and then the mind thoroughly.  Dealing with emotional obstacles that hinder full relaxation might be required. Next, one may practice observing the thoughts as they arise and then subside, trying not to get caught in the thoughts. This meditation technique is taught in one form or another in many different teaching traditions. In the buddhist tradition it is called Shamata or Shine meditation.

Once one has practiced enough of observing the thougts, another level of the practice is to start noticing also the more subtle emotions, or bodily sensations, as they arise and subside. In some training traditions there are explicit practices for observing  these, for example as a ‘body scanning’ practice, where one observes each body part at a time.

Over time, these skill honed through repeated practice, wtill start ransfering to everyday life situations. Practicing the stance of the observer of emotions as they arise, eventually when anger is triggered in a real situation, instead of reacting in anger, one may just pause there and observe the anger.  Just observing the arising of the emotion, and how it feels and so on. The observation itself gives space and freedom and time to choose with more wisdom, how one will eventually act. Perhaps an appropriate action is then found, rather than just ‘blowing up’.

In this way, simply learning to observe the mind often leads to increased emotional wellbeing and happiness. The ability to observe a thought or emotion instead of being engaged or engrossed in it, begins to open the possibility to act wisely even when strong emotions are present. The practice opens up a kind of breathing space between emotion and action. In this way, meditation practice can over time lead to a more peaceful, wiser and happier existence for ourselves and for those close to us.

Working with difficult emotions by using antidotes

Once we are able to observe the emotions as they arise, and to recognize them within us, to name them, it is possible to take further steps. We may call in ‘antidotes’ to the more poisonous emotions. These antidotes include for example love and compassion. If we have ever experienced love from another, or experienced compassion when we were suffering, we may be able to recall that emotion at will. By naming the antidote, recalling it from memory, we may ourselves learn to also practice being in a compassionate state. Just as one can practice becoming angry and over time, become angry even more easily, one may also practice the antidotes. One can think of this practice as learning the movement of how to reach to the correct drawer in a cupboard. At first we may not know the way, but the more we practice, the more straightforward the movement becomes. Or think of learning to pitch the ball in tennis. A very specific movement, which over practice becomes fast and reliable.  Similarly, one can over time become fast and reliable in reaching a state of compassion, of love, of forgiveness and so on.

It is important to notice, that doing this on the level of the mind, as a thinking process, is not enough. It is not enough in the same way as thinking about pitching a ball is not the same as actually pitching the ball. So we need to actually work on the level of our own emotions. Not someone else’s emotions, not on analyzing mentally or intellectually emotions, but on actually feeling the emotions. Then, learning to name the feeling. This can be a very difficult job when you have learned to use your mind as a purely intellectual, analytic tool. The world of emotions may at first feel chaotic, even. Something to be avoided. But as with everything, over time and practice the chaos will start becoming clearer.

Depending on our life histories, we may have practiced certain emotions a lot. Perhaps getting angry was the thing to do, how to solve any difficult problem when we were kids. Or perhaps it was becoming overly joyous and pretending any difficulties did not exist. As if not admitting that there is anything wrong would make wrongness go away. Whatever emotional strategies we practiced in our earlier lives, we are now very good at. The positive thing, though, is that starting to practice healthy strategies now, we can actually change the ways we have always reacted. As a result, our lives will be profoundly changed as well. Perhaps even our identity, how we see ourselves to be, starts to change.

Working with antidotes, I have found that the practice that transforms my emotional dynamics in a profound way is this: when I am able to stop in the moment and observe the emotion as it arises, I recall the appropriate antidote. At first this is practiced in ‘laboratory setting’, that is, by recalling a past situation where a difficult emotion arose, and working with the antidote in regard to that memory and similar ones. At a later stage, the practice can be transferred to real world situations. Getting this far requires quite steady and observant mind, the ability to stand back and observe instead of engaging. Which antidotes to use in which states of mind is a matter where instruction from experienced practitioners and teachers is valuable. Not everything has to be discovered by oneself – there are general ways in which all minds work, the knowledge of which can be utilized to help further generations of practitioners.

Where are these antidotes taught?

At first it may be necessary that a particular antidote drawer is opened with a teacher who knows the right drawer and the required movements. This happens in much the same way that a parent may guide the baby’s hand to reach the correct movement path so that the spoon actually reaches the mouth for the first times. After a time, the baby can continue practicing and do this unassisted with more and more fluency of action. The same principle applies when reaching for the antidotes regarding dealing with our difficult emotions: self-learning is indeed possible, but the speed of learning can be greatly increased with a good teacher and a good source of knowledge regarding the particular antidotes.

So far, I have found only two sources that teach the use of antidotes: Tara Rokpa Therapy which applies Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques as part of the therapeutic process, and Ho’oponopono, which applies four basic antidotes for any difficult situation,  not making distinction which one of them is needed at a particular time. In addition, in healing traditions, the concept of applying antidotes on an energetic level is known, for example in the Barbara Ann Brennan School of Healing. The concept of an antidote or an energy medicine is found also in Homeopathy.

Often advanced teachings are protected in order not to be diluted or transmitted in a partial or corrupted form. There might indeed be many other spiritual or healing traditions that also use these kinds of antidotes for working with difficult emotions, but if their practices are reserved only for those who advance far enough in their studies, I would not know about them.

I have so far talked mostly about relative antidotes, that is, using an antidote that is based on one’s own human existence. With help from outside, it is possible to learn to use purer and purer antidotes. What is needed is that someone can create or recall the antidote emotion in a strong, clear and powerful manner, and to share that state of being with us, in a way that we feel it as well. Then we may have that experience, even if we did not in our earlier lives. And afterwords, we have the experience in our cupboard, to be used when needed. In some traditions there is a reference to so-called absolute antidotes. These include absolute love, absolute compassion, absolute forgiveness, absolute grace and so on. For example, the way that very profound spiritual experiences actually transforms people’s lives, is in my view due to the person momentarily experiencing an absolute antidote. Once that antidote is experienced, it is in one’s cupboard and can forever be accessed. One single experience may transform the life forever.  This is also the reason, in my view, why such experiences are rarely repeated. There is no dire need of repetition, one initial experience of a pure antidote, combined with own practice on how to retrieve that antidote to use it in real-world situations, is enough to change lives for good.

The difference between relative and pure antidotes is similar to the difference between a certain pitch played by a gitar, or sung by a human, and the absolute frequency as a pure sine form, which can be mathematically produced. The absolute frequency exists, but in the physical world it is always either combined with overtones (as in the case of humans or instruments) or combined with various kinds of noise that arises in all physical systems. We may have an idea of the absolute frequency, and we may get closer to reproducing it, but even in its purest case, its actuality in the physical world is always relative.

 

Shared consciousness

Is conscious experience always individual? Or can there be an instant or a even a prolonged period of shared consciousness? 

It has been customary to think that consciousness and mind are individual phenomena, restricted to an individual’s mind. However, not all of our customary ways of thinking about the mind are correct. While we may not yet have a sufficient theoretical explanation that could account for ‘the substance’ of shared consciousness, we should nevertheless be open to the possibility of its existence, and to pay attention to experiential observations rather than restrict ourselves due to a lack of a unified theory.

Is consciousness limited to a single physical body, as if an aspect of the body? Or can it be rather more like a field extending somewhat outside the body? 

Many of us are accustomed to thinking that our existence is limited to our own body, as if we inhabited our body only, or as if we in fact were our body. However, this might actually just be a very entrenched thinking habit, involving specific beliefs about the body, the mind and the consciousness. Whether or not these are a particularly appropriate or fruitful ways to think about our consciousness remains an open question.

Keen observers have started noticing that there are concepts such as ‘the atmosphere’ of a space that seems to persist, regardless of individuals occupying that space.  Moreover, even sociologists have noticed that emotions can be transferred among individuals who are in contact. It is not currently understood properly how these phenomena should be explained, but again, the lack of theoretical explanation should not be a reason to restrict making observations. Let us observe, and let us later attempt to form the appropriate theory to explain the observations.

Can consciousness have a reach that is regardless of physical location, but rather more related to for example intentional state and the attention of the individual?

Nowadays, there appear to be a large number of people who have internal observations that do not correspond with the habitual ways of thinking about consciousness. Moments of apparent telepathy, having premonitions of people arriving soon, experiencing visitations from people that have passed away, experiencing angels, nature spirits, or star people or ETs are examples of consciousness phenomena that are within the range of experience for a large proportion of people regardless of nationality, religion and so on.  Experiences of energy healing or even distant healing or distant seeing are further phenomena experienced by many. Furthermore, there are people who experience collectively synchronized events or emotional or other consciousness processes, whose origins seem to be totally unrelated to their own lives, yet synchronized with those of many other people.

What is the ontological nature of each of these experiences is a separate question, which does not need to be the first question to be figured out. A proper theory of consciousness should try to give a reasonable account of all of these, in addition to the ‘ordinary’ conscious phenomena that are shared by all. Cataloguing the various kinds of non-ordinary experiences that seem to take a place is a start, a pre-requisite for building a theory. The next step would be to collect data about the prevalence of each type of experience, as well as  about the conditions in which they are experienced. Finally, theory formation might begin. Of course, some of this type of research has already begun.

What are the immediate obstacles in this kind of research? First of all, for some, these experiences might be very subtle. Observations of the so-called external world are loud, strong and solid. Internal observations are in general rather of a different kind. To begin with emotions, it is not that simple to observe one’s own emotional state. What is the current emotion or mood, exactly? Noticing that there even is an emotional state or mood takes a lot of practice.

If making proper observations requires practice, then who are the people who can be included in this type of study of conscious phenomena? Do people need to be categorized based on their skill level? How to measure such consciousness skills? How to create standardized ways of training a group of individuals in sufficient internal skills to be able to do large-scale empirical research on these phenomena?

Developing ways to discuss various phenomena of conscious experience in all their varieties is essential if we wish to increase our general understanding of human consciousness. Open discussion might shed light also on phenomena that appear to signify the existence of a form of shared consciousness which can extend between two or more individuals. Even later, perhaps it becomes possible to posit a theory that attempts to describe not only the phenomena relating to an individual’s consciousness but at the same time offers an elegant explanation of the shared consciousness phenomena as well.

Final note of my own experience on energy healing and shared consciousness

In my experience, developing the ability to heal energetically appears to be closely related to developing my ability to  observe and work with the mind. The more ability I have regarding consciousness, the better and stronger are my healing abilities becoming as well. I do not yet have a full theory of how this works, but this is how it feels like: When I learn to observe an emotional block within my own mind, then learn how to release it, then I learn which antidote to apply to it within myself.  Then, either through compassion practice or strong natural tendency for compassion, I observe an emotional block in another, then starting from the wish to help another being I am able to guide their consciousness and together with their consciousness we work to open the block and apply the antidote. For me, most of this happens very intuitively. The other person not only obtains a release of the block,  a fine result in itself. At the same time, they sometimes report learning experientially matters regarding their own consciousness. The experience often leads to concrete changes in relation to one’s own life.

For me, these two ways of describing the mind , either through energy healing, or through working with one’s own consciousness, are closely related although the conceptualizations differ. Others might have different views and experiences. For me, shared consciousness and the ability to touch another person’s consciousness is very natural. Distance is not an obstacle. Consciousness reaches its destination as quickly as a thought does, as long as the intention has a specific destination. The ability to recognize, however, when my consciousness is where, and to intentionally direct it in useful and healing ways, is something that has taken a lot of practice of awareness and other types of systematic learning.

Do you wish to share an experience?

Do you have an experience of shared consciousness, or some other phenomenon mentioned above?  Please write a comment below.

Trump as a mirror

Currently we are watching Donald Trump as he prepares to be a president. We look at him, his actions and his demeanor. We see how he treats people who oppose him. We watch how he is with his emotions. It appears that he is simply reacting and expressing them, with no apparent attempt at hiding or controlling them. For some people, the lack of hiding emotions is a form of honesty. There is very little apparent mask: all is visible as it is, even the basest aspects of human mind. For others, however, watching Trump causes a lot of cringing. Many feel appalled, outraged, and distraught. And judge him.

How does judgement feel? Is it a happy state? Does it bring joy to one’s day? Is it a fruitful state for working? Does that state of mind bring happiness with loved ones? Of course not. It is mostly a state of  suffering. There might be some enjoyment, though: judgement may also imply a feeling of superiority. Superiority, then, is a form of gratification of the Self: I am better than that person. And that can feel pretty good. Who would not like to be better than the next person? Even more fun if that someone is immensely successful. Hey, I am a better person than the president-elect of USA. That makes me pretty good, right? And it feels great to be a good person compared to someone in power.

But at the end of the day, the gratification is short-lived. Just when we are feeling good, someone blunders in the traffic and we get angry, and retort something stupid. And then we feel as a lousy person. It is a form of suffering to be thrown about in these states of mind. So, is there any alternative? Surely one cannot just be happy when mean things, or disrespectful things are said by a person in power. We would like to be able to respect our leaders. To look up to them. To see our best qualities in them. If we have a leader who is near-perfect, then surely we are pretty close to perfect as well?

But instead, the mirror that now faces us is far from perfect. Yes, a mirror. The president-elect mirrors us our own qualities.  At first we may be appalled that he even reveals his emotions, by acting them out. Aren’t you supposed to hide them? Mostly, however, we are reacting to the emotions and actions themselves. We cannot really stand looking at all that ugliness. It triggers so much emotion in us, and we don’t want to get those emotions triggered.

Strong reactions, such as anger, being appalled, or disgust, are a sign, a red flag to pay attention to. At first it appears that we are reacting to something that exist outside, in the world. However, most of our emotional responses are re-enactment of something old. It is as if a program starts.

We are generally unaware of these programs within us. They only become apparent when they repeatedly appear in our life in ways that create unhappiness. So, with every emotional reaction we need to ask: Did my emotional reaction lead me to a better place? Was I able to live a fuller, happier, more fruitful life because of it? If the answer is YES, the emotion was appropriate to the situation. But if it was NO, then it is an old program, not an situation-appropriate response, and we would be better off without it. The mirror of life shows us the programs of our own mind. The mirror is there, but do we have the skill and presence of mind to observe it?

What good is a mirror if we cannot change the reality that it reflects?

Fortunately, when we bring our hidden qualities to consciousness, already this act diminishes their power. Often these qualities are something we consider as negative traits – which is exactly the reason that we hid them in the first place. They were hidden, but life has a tendency to bring everything hidden to the surface. The hidden in us wishes to be revealed. It guides us to circumstances where we will experience a mirror that reflects us back to ourselves. Sometimes the mirror needs to be an exaggerating one – otherwise the small details would not be seen. Trump is that kind of a mirror. He exaggerates some of our worse qualities, so that by reacting to them, we may become more conscious of ourselves.

How can this moment be turned into one that makes a difference? We cannot really change anyone else but ourselves. Everybody is at the same predicament. We would like to change Trump, or our boss, or our spouse. But in the end we have only power to change ourselves.

Working with judgement

Self-forgiveness
Self-Forgiveness (unnamed painting by Anna-Mari Valopaasi, 2017)

Judging someone is a form of saying that they are not good enough. Not worthy, not worthy of respect, not worthy of love. Or that they should be punished for whatever the error, imperfection or evil was that they did. Retribution may be demanded. Grace is not allowed. It is a form of inner tension. Judgement creates tension also in relationships. It is not conducive to love. How to let go of it? How to release that inner tension that causes the judgement program to run, over and over again?

Recognizing the Judge within

Judge is one who does not forgive. It points at the person who is in error, who has wronged, or made a mistake, and judge. They stand on a high horse. Visualize the Judge, and see that this Judge is actually part of you, an inner state in you that every now and then surfaces to react to things within and to things outside of you. It is ok to have a Judge within you -many of us do. But it is not a happy life, living with a Judge inside. Not happy for oneself, and not happy for those around who from time to time get to experience the Judge. Perhaps one’s marriage or work relationship or friendship would be happier if that Judge were less prominent.

For those who wish to work to diminish the power and frequency of the Judge appearing, here is a practice that I offer. It has worked wonders for me.

The release

First, let your body relax.

Create a safe space for working with your mind, with whatever are your own means of creating safety. For some, it is a prayer to some divinity, to the Unity, to Universal Love, Oneness etc, depending on your own path. I usually request that whatever happens is for my highest good, and for the highest good of all beings. This can be considered as a request that I make to my own multidimensional mind, the totality of it. In addition, I ask for all help, and allow all help that is for my highest good.

Then, let the mind relax, and be in a state of open awareness. Sink deeper into relaxation. Lying down at this stage may be a good idea.

Next, bring the Judge to the focus of consciousness. Ask gently that the Judge within comes forward. Bring also the issue being addressed. Be as specific as you can. List in your mind everything that you remember being judgemental about.

State to yourself: I forgive myself for everything that relates to this, including all its roots.  Then actually forgive yourself that act. Whether or not you have done the act, does not matter at all. Just forgive it anyway, as if it were in you. Try to imagine it in you, pinpoint it in you. Try also to make the forgiveness as real as possible. Forgiving is an act, not a thought.

Once you have forgiven yourself, forgive everybody else for the same thing.  Think of concrete people who you forgive, first. Next, extend it to everyone in general.

Finally, ask for Grace, and accept it, receive it.  Grace is there for the asking, and comes to all those who ask.

Thank yourself and any help that you received during this practice.

Unless you are a very forgiving person already, starting to forgive, even in your mind, is not very easy. It may be a good idea to start with an easy topic, a minor issue. Over time you may wish to apply this to more severe infringements. You may want to start paying attention to moments of being judgemental in everyday life. Was it the leadership of the country, the actions of the press, or perhaps the school system that triggered your judgement? Forgive that. Always forgive it first in yourself. You cannot forgive another person unless you forgive it first in yourself. Once it becomes a habit, you can practice this everywhere. Just the forgiveness part is good in itself.

Practice means that you get better over time, when you practice. You extend the muscles of your mind. This kind of results may then ensue: The actions that before triggered your judgement, do not trigger it any more. You can still see that they may be actions you do not choose nor work actively for. Or actions that you will oppose, with force if need be. But your anxiety related to them will reduce. Your life starts to get a little better. A little brighter, and more relaxed and happy.

Questions for pondering

Can you find judgement within yourself? How does it show in your life? What does it cause, or has caused in your life? How did you act in judgement of someone? What came out of it? Did it bring happiness?

Background

The basic notion of working with your emotions, and the importance of complete relaxation I have learned from Tara Rokpa Therapy and Tibetan Buddhist mind training practices. However, since I have only some basic understanding, I’m not qualified to teach their methods.

Forgiveness is one of the antidotes in the Ho’oponopono method of practicing with your mind – that is where I picked it up. I have not come by a good written sources, so I learned it from some videos, and then modified according to my own experiences. In addition to forgiveness, Ho’oponopono contains three other antidotes, namely love, compassion and thankfulness, which I have found useful when working with other emotions.

The rest of the practice I have put together over time from various sources. Creating a safe space is important for being able to relax, and to not be disturbed. Grace was something we discovered with a group of individuals, as necessary in certain situations involving judgement and bad deeds. Sometimes forgiveness just is not enough.

Lets discuss about the practice

Please write in the comment section!

Do you use this or some other related practices yourself?  What kind of results do you get? Have you observed benefit for your life, or the lives of others?

Do you perhaps teach such practices? Or do you know of research regarding such?