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Forgiveness: a vital step in Health and Spiritual growth.

 By Yogi Baba Prem Yogacharya, Veda Visharada

Many students mistake the concept of forgiveness as something for other people.  This could not be further from the truth.  Forgiveness is an essential step in our own spiritual realization, health and wellness.

 

Physical Health

In Ayurveda there is a teaching pertaining to undigested experience.  Ayurveda is strongly associated with Sankhya philosophy.  In Sankhya philosophy, there are four attributes to the mind:

 

  1. Manas
  2. Ahamkara
  3. Buddhi
  4. Mahat

 

Manas is the emotional mind.  Ahamkara is the ego.  Buddhi is the intellect.  Mahat is cosmic intelligence.  The first two are unable to digest experience according to Ayurveda.  What this means is they cannot resolve or bring an experience to a conclusion.  They can only react.  If one were to think about it, emotions and the ego rarely resolve issues.  Most likely they make issues worse, since they are prone to react.  The reaction is merely a mental predisposition, sub conscious programming, or defensive posturing.  These cannot resolve an experience within our field of consciousness. 

 

In Ayurvedic philosophy these unresolved experiences have a profound effect on the body.  They are believed to actually form microscopic crystals between cells in the body.  These crystals slowly affect the health of the body.  They can be broken up through techniques such as massage or yoga.  The problem is once the crystals begin to break up powerful emotions associated with the crystals are released into the field of the mind.  The student experiences the emotions again.  If there has been little growth in understanding the mind, an ego or emotional reaction occurs again.  This results in the formation of new crystals within the body.  This pattern may repeat for years, decades, or even lifetimes.

 

Ayurveda does offer a solution.  Ayurveda teaches that experience can be digested (resolved) using the last two attributes of the mind.  Buddhi and Mahat.  Mahat is literally cosmic consciousness.  Buddhi is the lower function of mahat and is called intellect.  If students can be taught to intellectually resolve (digest) experiences, there will be no formation of crystals in the body.  For crystals that have already formed, the buddhi can be used to resolve the older undigested experiences. 

 

Spiritual Healing

Undigested experience tends to play in the field of the mind, subtlety influencing our decisions and choices in life.  It is extremely difficult to obtain spiritual realization or even peace with so many unresolved emotions in the mind.  This tends to limit our ability to meditate and restrict our acceleration of spiritual growth.  The first step in healing this process is forgiveness. 

 

Many people have conflict with forgiveness since they feel they are “letting the other person off the hook”.  Remember that exercise in forgiveness is for you and not them. 

 

How to practice forgiveness.

 

There are several easy approaches to forgiveness. 

 

  1. Using the power of the intellect realize that every other persons actions are a result of their pain.  Realize that it often has nothing to you. 
  2. Using the power of the intellect, realize that people are just using the habits and patterns that they learned through their own experience.  It may not even be intended to you, but was a poor effort to protect them from pain. 
  3. Practice the following forgiveness visualization. 

 

Come sitting in a comfortable posture.  Visualize yourself walking into a movie theater.  You are the only person walking into the theater.  Select a comfortable seat.  After a few moments the lights slowly dim and the projector starts.  The movie is showing your life.  It is going to show all the people who have wronged you and the people that you may have wronged. 

 

As the people come up on the screen that have wronged you, try to use steps one or two and attempt to forgive them.  If you come upon someone that you cannot forgive, don’t worry about it and just move on.

 

As you encounter, on your movie screen, people that you may have wronged, ask them to forgive you.  If you encounter someone that will not forgive you, don’t worry about it and just move on.

 

After several minutes the movie will come to an end.  The lights will slowly come up.  Come up from your seat and walk outside.  Once outside start to become aware of your body, sitting in your meditation room.  Inhale deeply and exhale slowly.  Repeat two more times.  Slowly open your eyes.  Rub your hands and feet together for 30-40 seconds and then relax.

 

For best results this would be practiced daily for several weeks.  Always consult with your doctor before beginning this or any wellness program. 

 

The next step

As you begin to encounter new experiences, try to approach them from the buddhi and less from manas (emotional mind) and ahamkara (ego).  This will aid in quicker resolution of emotional issues and lay the foundation for deeper levels of healing for the mind and body. 

  

Copyright 2003.  Yogi Harinam Baba Prem Tom Beal.  All rights reserved.

 

Yogi Baba Prem

  • Yogi Baba Prem has two books published in India, and has written numerous other books published by Universal Yoga. 
  • His articles have appeared in several traditional magazines and a variety of e-magazines.