Radical Forgiveness

Today I discuss an idea that is both painful and distasteful to anyone who has gone through difficult times, at the hands of someone with whom they may still harbour feelings of animosity.

Ex spouses, business partners, estranged children or family members. Even SELF-loathing. I first saw came across the idea in a book by Vishen Lakhiani titled “The code of the extraordinary mind”, which is an excellent resource for reviewing your current state of mind and then suggests strategies for changing belief patterns to help you move forward. Radical forgiveness is depicted as a mental focus technique that is designed to focus on both your perception of the individual and their wrongdoing, experiencing and analysing your emotional response and then attempting to disarm that emotional response by consciously viewing that person in a different light.

The sole purpose is to recondition your response to that experience so that you are not held back by a continual internal trigger to anger or depression. Studies have shown that this practice, even for a few minutes a day, as a stand alone or as part of a longer meditation routine have substantial cardiovascular effects as well as physical performance effects. Not to mention emotional benefits. And the beauty is that you do not need to actually confront or forgive that individual to their face. The technique is about YOU not THEM.

Lakhiani describes undergoing this training with Dave Asprey in his 40 years of Zen program, and though several articles have been published, this one seems to be the most credible at present: Carson, J. W, Keefe, F. J., Goli, V., Fras, A. M.,Lynch, S. R., et. al., Forgiveness and chronic low back pain: a preliminary study examining the relationship of forgiveness to pain, anger and psychological distress; The Journal of Pain. 6(2): 2005: 84-91

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