How Do I Learn to Forgive Myself and Others? (A Deeper Perspective on Forgiveness)

Posted on by Sen.



I get emails with queries along the lines of – “how do I learn to forgive?”, “I did xyz in the past, how can forgive myself?”, “he/she did xyz to me in the past, I am not able to forgive this person, but I want to, how do I do it?”, “I feel a strong need for revenge, how can I let go of this hatred and forgive this person?”.

Basically the question is about how can I practice forgiveness, towards myself and others.

Also, most of the people, who ask this question, have been trying to forgive for a long time. They are sensitive and aware people who don’t want to hold hatred/hurt in their heart, and want to sincerely forgive. It’s just that they are having hard time doing so, which makes them feel worse.

The real reason why you are not able to forgive

If you notice, in all these cases, the deal is that you are “trying” to forgive, and therein lies the reason why you are not able to do so – forgiveness cannot be practiced as a technique, it cannot be held as a mental attitude, without it creating some form of an imbalance.

True forgiveness is very different from the practice of forgiveness; true forgiveness is only possible from a place of inner freedom where you naturally lose the capacity to hold on to the energy of imbalanced hatred or hurt.

There are two ways in which you can react, unconsciously, when you feel “wronged” in some way:

  1. You harbor feelings of hatred (in the form of spite/resentment) towards the instigator.
  2. You harbor feelings of hurt rooted in a sense of powerlessness.

The first form of reaction comes from an imbalance towards dark nature, the second form of reaction happens in people who are imbalanced towards light nature.

From a place of hatred (dark nature), a person who is imbalanced towards the dark nature, would get rooted in an attitude of seeking vengeance, either through direct action or through indulging in thoughts of causing harm to the instigator, wishing for their downfall.

From a place of being hurt (light nature), a person who is imbalanced in light nature, would get rooted in the attitude of feeling powerless, feeling weak/inferior, indulging in self-pity and self-loathing – thoughts of vengeance may cross this person’s mind but he/she would either feel guilty about it or suppress it from a place of powerlessness.

Of course, in most cases, people tend to have a mix of both these reactions, in varying degrees depending on their state of imbalance.

The karmic cycle of un-forgiveness

Thoughts, and feelings, get accumulated in the form of energy, when one is unconsciously identified with them.

This is what creates mind momentum (accumulated thought energy), and emotional momentum (accumulated “feelings” energy) – this accumulated momentum can also be called “imbalanced karmic energy”, which basically just keeps you in a cyclic loop of living the same experience in different forms (through different lifetimes, different incarnations, different life situations).

The fact that you are holding a feeling of hurt, or a feeling of hatred, causes you to be focused on this aspect, and thus causes you to keep attracting a similar experience because you are seeing life from this “lens” created by your pre-occupation with that feeling/thought.

Also, just as the energy of love can attach you to someone, the same way the energy of hatred, or hurt, can attach you to someone, thus creating a “negative” relationship.

In an unconscious way, from the energy of hurt (imbalance of light nature), you can keep re-creating similar experiences, through the same person, in different life-times, owing to your negative attachment towards this person – a relationship of victim-exploiter gets created, which can go on through several incarnations until one can consciously let go of this “attachment”.

Similarly, the energy of hatred can bind you in an “eye for an eye” relationship, and this attachment can continue unconsciously, possibly for several incarnations, until its energy is dissolved.

For example, you feel wronged by someone, and you inflict suffering on that person, who now feels wronged by you and inflicts suffering on you, and thus the cycle continues. Even if you don’t believe in incarnations, or past lives, this deal of “negative attachment” holds true for your current life-time where your life experience is corrupted by this imbalanced pre-occupation.

The teacher Gautam Siddartha, popularly known as the Buddha, talked about this karmic cycle of suffering and he sometimes preached the practice of “righteous action/thinking” as the solution to break out of this cycle, where you drop the need to inflict suffering on your perpetrator (in thought or action).

Being free of an imbalanced karmic cycle works for your own advantage and hence this understanding can be a natural motivation for your mind to drop the need to inflict (or wish for) a negative condition on the “wrong doer”.

However, there is a tendency to “practice” righteous thinking, and righteous action, from a place of fear, where you fear the karmic reaction, and hence you force yourself to suppress your hatred/hurt towards the instigator.

This form of suppression can create a sense of powerlessness and thus lead to a state of imbalance. In this sense, the preaching of the practice of righteous thinking/action is, in essence, a half-baked solution at best, and does not truly release the energy of imbalance – this is the case with any teaching that’s taken as a technique to be practiced.

Inner freedom leads to natural forgiveness

To break out of this cycle of imbalance, created from a place of “feeling wronged”, one is given the teaching of learning to forgive – the logic is that if you can forgive the wrong-doer you will dissolve your feelings of hatred, or feelings of hurt, and thus become free of being driven by these energies of imbalance.

However, in real life, it doesn’t really work this way.

You will notice that it’s not easy (if not impossible) to forgive unconditionally, and if you keep forcing yourself to do so it could mean that you are quite imbalanced towards light nature where you are suppressing your dark nature aspects.

When you “try” to forgive, you’ve already enter an unnatural state of trying to force your mind into doing something that it doesn’t naturally feel like doing – this is the reason why the whole deal of “practicing” compassion can feel unnatural, forced and fake.

To “try” to forgive is a forced technique, and it leads to other forms of imbalance, it’s just a form of forced discipline (coming from a place of “this is the right thing to do?” or “I should do this to be a good person?”).

Contrary to this, when you get rooted in the foundation of inner freedom, you don’t have to try to forgive, you simply become grounded in an openness that doesn’t cling to aspects of imbalanced hatred or imbalanced sensitivity (in the form of hurt).

This openness allows you to let go of any past accumulated energy of imbalance – in this state of openness you are no longer trying to sort out the imbalance (which is futile, because you can’t resolve an imbalance when you are already rooted in that imbalance), rather you simply allow the release of the imbalanced energy.

The pointer is that instead of working on specific “techniques” like practicing an attitude of forgiveness, if one works towards finding inner freedom, through the state of allowing, there is a natural release of past accumulation and a grounding in the space of openness that allows for a seamless integration towards a balance of energy (light & dark) in you.

Finding inner freedom is the pre-requisite towards connecting with a balanced way of living, which includes operating from a place wisdom rather than being motivated by imbalances towards your dark nature or light nature.

When you find inner freedom you will notice that you are not over-whelmed by “anything” while also retaining the sensitivity towards everything – this is why inner freedom is the foundation that allows you to integrate power with sensitivity.

This power is needed in order to live from a place of wisdom.

There are many people who are highly sensitive, but lack the power of inner freedom, and hence their sensitivity just becomes a source of suffering for them. Sensitivity is simply the capacity to observe, to feel, to understand, to empathize, and the more aware you are the more sensitive you become, but how you are “affected” by your sensitivity depends on your state of inner freedom, or lack of it.

If your sensitivity affects you to the point of being driven by its impulsive pull, then you can’t really be rooted in wisdom. Love cannot bring balance by itself, it needs the backing of “power” in order to be truly effective – love integrated with power is what it means to balance the light and the dark nature in us, and this is possible only from a place of inner freedom, it can’t be done as a technique.

Mental techniques oppose the state of inner freedom

The deal is that once you get established in the space of inner freedom, nothing really clings to you, while also allowing you to be aware/sensitive to wisdom required to handle situations – it’s not like a cop out of being “detached”, it’s like an openness that nothing can affect/influence while retaining the natural capacity for being a sensitive being. True forgiveness is when the energy of imbalance is dissolved in this state of openness, naturally, without you “trying” to forgive or “trying” to let go – true forgiveness does not feel like forgiveness, it just feels like an “absence” of even the need to forgive, where you just sense that the energy of imbalanced hurt/hatred is no longer there, there is no longer the mind momentum to hold on to thoughts of being “wronged”, there is no longer the emotional investment to “cling” to the feelings of hurt, or hatred – it’s not a state of forced compassion, it’s just a natural state of openness which doesn’t bother clinging to anything, it’s just fresh to the wisdom required for the moment.

Inner freedom is not a fantasy state, it’s very real, and it’s attainable in a practical manner when you understand the logic of the state of allowing. It’s just that we keep fighting this natural state of inner freedom through a pre-occupation towards mental techniques, and escapist mechanisms. “Trying” to forgive is eventually a mental technique, it doesn’t matter how good/altruistic/spiritual it sounds, it’s still a mental technique.

You will notice that people who seem to be rooted in the mindset of forgiveness are also people who seem to keep attracting hardships (mostly in the form of exploitation or abuse), even though they continue to “practice” forgiveness with due commitment, this is because they are operating from a certain mental stance, and all “stances” eventually are forms of rigid thinking (including the mental stance of being unconditionally forgiving), and rigid thinking always leads to imbalance – in this case, the person becomes imbalanced towards light nature and hence keeps attracting imbalanced expressions of dark nature in his/her life.

Of course, people who practice the mindset of forgiveness are perceived as “nice people”, however it does not exempt the fact that they are rooted in an imbalance of light nature and thus privy to attracting imbalanced realities. This is also the reason you hear the common complaint about – “I am such a nice person and yet I seem to keep attracting jerks in my life”. It’s important to understand that being imbalanced towards light-nature is as dysfunctional as being imbalanced towards dark nature.

(Some of the posts which discuss the process of finding inner freedom, in detail, are – The foundation of openness, Reaching a state of total allowing, the attitude required for inner freedom and the phase of release)

The imbalance in the mindset of repentance

As we become more aware it’s likely that we become sensitive to our past mis-deeds, and then enter into a mindset of repentance stemming from a sense of guilt and empathy. The mindset of repentance, though it seems highly virtuous, is actually rooted in an imbalance because it stems from the energy of guilt rather than the energy of wisdom. An identification with suffering is what is at the root of the mindset of repentance and all it can do is attract more suffering. Your awareness needs to be an invitation towards a release of past momentum and thus a “fresh start” towards balanced living.

It’s important to understand that your past behavior was driven by your state of low-awareness, or your unconsciousness, and thus to repent for your past, by putting yourself through suffering, in your current awareness, makes no real sense. It’s natural to feel bad about any wrong-doing that you may have indulged in, when you were operating from a state of low-awareness, however, your pre-occupation with feeling bad about your past does nothing to create inner balance and thus does nothing to bring forth any contribution towards balance in this world.

The very fact that you feel bad about your wrong-doing is an indication that your awareness has grown, and that you are no longer in the same level of awareness in which you perpetrated that action.

The legal system, in many countries, does take the present conduct of the prisoner into consideration towards reducing his/her prison term, or severity of the punishment, which is a wise thing to do. Of course, being punished through external means is a form of “forced repentance” which can be useful, as a wake-up call, for someone who is rooted in low-awareness, and hence one cannot do away with the requirement for such external regulations/discipline/law as long as there are low-awareness elements existing in this world.

Also, just because you feel bad about something you did in the past doesn’t mean that you won’t do it again – just because you are “aware” of your negativity doesn’t mean that you have the freedom from it. Awareness requires the support of inner freedom in order for it to truly be effective. People who feel helpless towards the pull of “wrong doing”, inspite of knowing that they are doing the wrong thing, are basically rooted in the state of powerlessness (lack of conscious inner freedom).

Eventually, the path towards finding inner freedom is to start letting go of your past momentum, not through “trying” to forgive yourself, not through repentance, but simply by letting go of identification with your past, knowing that it was a different state of awareness (a low state of awareness) that you were inhabiting back then, and your current awareness makes you a different person than who you were, same body but different person.

The only way you can sync up with your current awareness is by realizing the past momentum of imbalanced energy in you (created by your past state of low-awareness) by going through a phase of release – this is where the state of allowing comes in. To allow for a true release you need to let go of clinging to your past, be it your hurt, your hatred or your guilt. Every time you “try” to forgive, you also reinforce the identification and hence you don’t allow for a true release of the past momentum.

The state of allowing/openness is simply the conscious choice to let go of being identified with the mind’s pull, or the emotional pull, without trying to fight it (or suppress it) – to just let be. Your inner space will clear out of all the imbalance accumulation of energy in this state of allowing, and as this accumulation keeps dissolving so does the momentum of your mind/emotions, and this is how you connect with the space of inner freedom – it starts with the “attitude” of openness, and with time you start sensing the space of inner freedom in you, which gradually becomes permanent and unwavering.

Sometimes the only way to be ready for this “openness” is when everything else has failed, when you are tired of working with techniques, tired of “trying” to sort it out.




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36 Comments

  1. Lander

    I remember my own mindset, of trying to ~heal~ from hurt. I though that there was a damage I need to repair, somehow. I was so identifying with that hurt, that was gaining more and more momentum for 20 years, trying to deal with it somehow, constantly attracting more of it (while asking how is this possible), not realizing why is this happening.

    I intuitively knew that it is not about other persons, or exterior to be blamed, but I just tried to understand ~why me~, so identifying with it from place of victim mindset, all to the point until the momentum was so huge, threatening my health and life seriously.

    But I was so surprise (shocked even) when I start allowing those feelings fully, (with conscious openness to really see what it is) after finding your articles. It turned out to be a whole identity, strong entity within that was operating my life by unconscious identification, ruling my life and attracting more and more of it. So there was nothing to heal really, nothing to ~repair~, nothing and no one to forgive, but to let go completely of this mindset, identification with it and simple release its momentum.

  2. kenny

    So what is there to do in a situation where people are being totally rude and hateful/condescending towards you? I encounter this constantly at my job and causes me to either feel hatred towards them for being so mean to me, or what I feel is a kind of semi-false “I feel bad for them” kind of feeling. I’m lost as to how to totally allow in these cases. Also I have a boss who along with a few other high ranking people conspired to get myself and two other co-workers/friends fired so he could hire an acquaintance of his. We got our jobs back after 10 months of lawyer intervention but now he pretends like he had nothing to do with it like he’s our buddy. How should i feel in this situation?

    1. Markus

      Kenny, there is no “should” in emotions. If you feel upset, acknowledge it. What you can do is to allow the feelings in your own time. Allow your reaction at home later. What do you let go? The emotion you feel when these things happen. The thoughts you have in reaction. The hatred/condescension that follows. All of that is the energy that ties you to the situation. Don’t bother thinking about the mean people, don’t try to figure out a solution with your mind. Just let the feelings come up and let them go.

      Eventually you will not be affected by such situations. As Shiv wrote below, near the bottom of the comment, you will lose interest; life will change your situation to match the more balanced reality within you.

  3. sr

    Hi sen, first of all I would l like to say that you should consider writing a book. it seems that their is a lot if ignorance and insensitivty towards forgiveness . for example some people say that time heals all things but that is not very accurate because you can contnue to fuel the imbalance within you and continue to create a more disfunctional reality. also pray for the offender is one that has been thrown at me. This never stuck with me because why would I pray for the well being of someone who I felt wronged me.” just get over it” is another remark people used to try to get me to forgive. These statements made it hard for me to accept forgiveness . now that I have been looking at you web sit for some time I realized that I was just fake to myself and I had a lot of suppressed anger in me . I have been releasing the imbalanced energy and align with the natures of my mind and ,forgiveness has been natural and through out this process I clearly got to see how it was my own imbalance thinking that created these reaction from people. It took a while for me to man up to the truth that I was the one that caused my reality to be negative. Thank you, your knowledge is well appreciated .

  4. Alchemista

    Hello Sen, this raises some questions for me… as I’ve adopted the perspective that we come into each other’s lives to learn, and even one’s who may use me, I see through them into the fear and can’t help forgive them and letting them go…. and in turn I feel that it makes me more sensitive, stronger, more compassionate, and more confident that nothing can hurt me without my permission…. that I am responsible for my self and everytime I feel less fearful with uncertainty and learn to live more in the moment fully regardless of what life brings. But still I question and doubt exists if there is a blindspot in my perspective…. your statements regarding light nature imbalance strike a chord but I’m not sure…. how can I know?

    1. Sen Post author

      Alchemista, it is true that from the perspective of totality everything has a purpose towards the experience of self-realization/expression and growth, and in that sense even imbalance is a requirement towards the conscious experience of balance, without knowing imbalance you can’t know what the experience of wholeness is – in this sense, nothing is a “wrong”, everything is serving some value in its own way from the perspective of totality – I call this the “absolute perspective”. However, the absolute perspective needs to be balanced with the “relative” perspective of seeing the right and wrong based on wisdom, based on sensitivity. The “absolute perspective” cannot be an excuse to allow the wrong, or just forgive the wrong by saying “this is also life” – this is when you become an “idealist” or “spiritualist” (which is an imbalance in light nature) instead of being realistic. Sometimes the only way to control evil/wrong is to take an action against it, to oppose it, to stand up against it – to smile and forgive is not the best policy to follow in all cases. In fact, to forgive a wrong-doing makes no sense, you either rectify it, or get over it by letting go of your identification with it (and grow from that experience towards finding a better balance), either ways the act forgiveness just seems like an added mind game of feeling superior for forgiving the evil done to you. If you notice, people who have imbalances towards light nature get a sense of superiority in their act of forgiveness, it’s just that they would never admit it unless they are willing to be truly authentic with themselves. The mind-game of forgiveness just becomes another egoic deal, where your ego feels a light-natured superiority for being the “better person”, sometimes even feeling smug about it.

      The pointer of this post is that “trying to forgive” is a mind-game, it’s just a mental technique eventually, which has been propagated for a long time in the name of compassion, giving it a virtuous bent. Just like “turn the other cheek” has been propagated as a higher way of living, when in truth it is just as imbalanced as saying take an eye for an eye – both are mental stances, and any stance that you take makes you rigid and thus unavailable to the wisdom of the moment, sometimes it make be wise to turn the other cheek sometimes it may be wise to slap back, sometimes it may be wise to do neither and just stare back, it depends on the situation. “I need to forgive” can/does become one such mental stance, and it contributes towards an imbalance of light nature in a person. The fact that you feel a “doubt” about your behavior with respect to forgiveness is an indication of the fact that something in you doesn’t find your behavior authentic.

    2. Alchemista

      Hi Sen, I really appreciate this! Yes, I agree about standing up against evil and wrongdoing, and that forgiving as a reaction to it may be an egoic solution. But, what I am talking about is forgiving that comes from inside… in my case I do not tolerate wrongdoing and let it be known, but at the same time when all is said and done and on the inside, there is compassion, an understanding of what is happening for both sides, what I am learning and what the Other is learning… as well I can see observe fear’s play with all involved… so my heart forgives but it is the mind ego that sheds doubt on this and questions that I’m being all good and better person….

    3. Sen Post author

      Alchemista, when you say that “my heart forgives but it is the mind ego that sheds doubt on this and questions that I’m being all good”, basically it’s like a fight between light nature (represented by your heart) and dark nature (represented by your mind), and most people, through their imbalance towards light nature, would side with the heart because it looks like the “good element”, and try to fight the mind or suppress the mind labelling it as bad. However, this is a form of “identification”, when you side with the light nature represented by your heart you also immediately disconnect with the dark nature represented by your mind and hence are moving towards an imbalance of light nature – and siding towards the light nature of the heart can become a “stance”, or a rigid mindset, even though it looks very innocent. Eventually, balance involves balancing the mind and the heart, the dark and the light, and this starts with letting go of the need to side with either, letting go of the need to get identified with the heart or with the mind, but just be in a state of openness. This openness eventually brings an inner balance between light and dark aspects in you, and then you will no longer feel the need to follow the heart’s position or the mind’s position, but rather just move from a place of wisdom required in the moment. Basically, the heart is as much capable of creating imbalance as the ego-mind, it’s just that the light-natured aspect of the heart causes us to not see the imbalance that it’s creating – it’s just like how we never see the victim as the “wrong”, we don’t see that the weakness inherent in the victim as a part of imbalance that allowed the victimization, rather we only see the exploiter as the wrong.

    4. Alchemista

      Wonderful! Yes, I am finding myself lately giving up and deferring to the ‘state of openess’ and allowing all that arises… but this clarifies the process for me and sheds much needed light… thanks so much, Sen.

  5. Shiv

    Kenny – there is no “should”. How “do” you feel in this situation? Start with that. That is what is natural to you in this moment. Forget about forgiveness. It is over-rated. If forgiveness emerges spontaneously within your experience it can be a beautiful thing. Trying to forgive is like forcing yourself to smile when you are unhappy – it just isn’t the same.

    Instead of asking why the people around you are behaving the way they are, ask yourself this question instead: why are you choosing to remain in such a toxic environment?

    I do not know the details of your circumstances. Maybe you have certain financial constraints, maybe your opportunities to find other employment are limited. But whatever the circumstances may be, try and identify what inner mechanics are keeping you invested in this apparently disharmonious environment.

    People misunderstand forgiveness. To many the act of “forgiving” makes them feel somehow benevolent or noble. To forgive someone or something feels like we are giving them our “permission”. Yet, forgiveness has very little to do with the other person and everything to do with you. When you forgive someone, you are setting them free of your emotional expectation and in the process are releasing that imbalance within yourself.

    People who tend to persist in situations that are clearly disharmonious with their own nature do so quite deliberately, even though unconsciously. They are in a sense ‘addicted’ to the negativity that the situation brings out within them. If you find yourself surrounded by people who are constantly undermining you and putting you down, inquire into why you feel like you need these people around you. What is it that prevents you from walking away?

    Walking away from a situation that is disharmonious and not beneficial is the simplest thing to do. There is no “how” to it. You simply get up and you start walking. Yet, the mind has infinite (and often creative) rationalizations for why we need to stay. The “principle of the matter” is a good one, “not giving up” is another, “doing it for the greater good or for others” is often used as well. But regardless, of the rationalization you come up with, the result is ultimately the same, you choose to remain in disharmony.

    Choosing disharmony or conflict serves a deeper purpose of course. It helps accentuate and magnifies all our imbalances and makes them drastically obvious to us. And so all the discomfort, pain and negativity you are experiencing is really pointing to those aspects of yourself that are in need of calibration. Instead of seeking to forgive these people, see them for the valuable service they are satisfying in your life. Pain, misery, humiliation are often our greatest teachers.

    When you no longer feel the pull of your ego’s insecurities and need for reassurance, the situation itself will either transform favorably, or it will just cease to be that dramatic or interesting. When you spontaneously begin to lose all interest in the politics and pettiness surrounding you, and as your mind gradually ceases to sensationalize it, you will naturally know what to do. At that point, you will either respond in a fresh and transformative way, or you will simple walk away without hesitation.

    In the end, the best way to describe the attitude of forgiveness is, “Don’t worry about it, its not a big deal.”

    1. Anu

      Wonderful Shiv. I have ready your previous posts and found them very informative and very refreshing. You, like Sen, have tremendous perspective and are probably someone, who has little or no momentum.

      I am going through changes in my life as well. It is challenging. The “ego” tends to be so interested in so many trivial things and I don’t feel too good. But, I understand, it takes time or maybe a life time, I do not know.

    2. Shiv

      Hi Anu,

      This term “ego” can be a tricky one. There is a tendency when undergoing a process of conscious change, to blame everything negative on this ego, as if it were some disconnected and unwelcome guest on this journey of your lifetime. While for purposes of study and analysis it may be of some benefit to separate out this entity of ego, from a practical perspective of day to day living it doesn’t serve the same value. In fact, it can even begin to hamper your progress.

      So there is no you and an ego, you are your ego. This ego is how you have chosen to express this lifetime. It is the character you have chosen to play, if you will. It includes not only the behavioural patterns and beliefs that you have absorbed in this lifetime, but it also contains the collective conditioning you have inherited in your DNA – familial, ethnic and racial. You can call this conditioning – karma, if that resonates more with you.

      This part of you that finds the “ego” problematic and interested in trivialities, is also the ego. They are just different aspects of your ego (alter egos) , each one claiming to be the “true you” and labelling the others as frauds. This is how we play with ourselves in our own heads – we assume different perspectives and points of view and then try and negate them.

      As a result, nothing is a triviality or everything is (depending on how you want to look at it). This is where the “ordinariness” of self-realization comes in. It is the perspective that allows all points of view (whether noble or trivial) equally but doesn’t align itself with any of them. When you cease being partial to certain aspects of your thinking as opposed to others you will discover a more genuine and balanced relationship with yourself. You can try and recall the teachers you had when you were in schools. The best teachers were always the ones that treated all students with equal consideration and respect, not just the star pupils. Similarly, if you can cultivate an attitude of consideration and respect for even those “problematic” parts of your ego, you will find a greater ease of experience, even if it may remain challenging for a while.

      What Sen calls “Allowing” is in a sense all about forgiveness. When you “allow” your experience and your conditioning, what you are really doing is responding with tolerance, compassion and understanding ( in other words, forgiving). As I mentioned, your ego is a construct of not only your own personal conditioning but also that of your parents, your ancestors, your nation, your race, your gender and your species. When you adopt an attitude of gentle patience and allow these conditionings to release, you are forgiving not only yourself but all of humanity as well.

    3. kenny

      Thank Shiv. (nice name) I have 3 kids and a wife and yes job opportunities are rather limited here in the southern us, hell in the us in general. I know it is a toxic environment but at the same time i work for the federal government and that carries with it a lot of job security. I feel great hostility and i know it’s wrong but sometimes it just comes up and i feel powerless and helpless because of it. I also feel ashamed that i let things get to me so much and take myself out of commission energy wise to be pleasant to my family. Just don’t know what to do. I’ve been at this for 4 years now and don’t know what else i can do. I’m not dumb , just feel like this is all i’ll ever get. Ragingly frustrated these days and even more so when i hear other people’s stories of how ” light and blissful” they are and how they have no worries at all. I’d do anything for that man.

    4. Shiv

      Kenny – your rage and frustration is indicative of the imbalances within your mind and this work circumstance is helping highlight that for you. It is all a call to bring you into a deeper state of awareness.

      When you are deeply identified with your own mind, you are easily influenced by all its whims and fears. Then there is little that separates a thought from reality. A thought of something bad or negative happening is felt almost as strongly as the reality of it happening. And so your body reacts with fear, desperation and rage almost instinctively.

      Harsh circumstances often exist in order to awaken a mind that is knotted up in itself. Its like attempting to wake a person who is fast asleep: sometimes a simple alarm or even yelling doesn’t help, only a firm and solid shake will do the job.

      Instead of resisting, chastising or feeling ashamed about this rage and frustration: use it. It is waiting to be used. No emotion is ever worthless. Not even anger, not even sadness. Each is a learning tool in its own way. Forget about being ‘light and blissful’ – that’s not your deal right now. Your time will come.

      First and foremost, you need to work towards cultivating a space between yourself and your mind. This space is necessary in order for you to observe your mind in an impartial way and consciously let go of certain thought-emotion patterns. You can learn to create this space simply by being in a state of ‘relaxed awareness’ as Sen calls it. In other words, take a few moments everyday to be aware of yourself, whether they are scheduled chunks of time like 30 mins in the morning or evening, or simply spontaneous bits of time here and there as you see fit.

      In fact, I recommend doing it frequently for short periods of time through out the day. If you have an office, close the door for five minutes if you need to. If there are always people around just go to a bathroom stall. Close your eyes and just let go into yourself and everything your feeling. Let it all come, no holds barred. Anything that comes up is fine, if nothing comes, that’s also fine. Leave your body relaxed and allow your mind to go where it wants to.

      You’ll find certain thoughts, patterns, images and scenarios repeating themselves. With each thought pattern, you will feel certain emotions arise and you will find your body responding by contracting, heating up or sweating. Each time this happens go into an even deeper relaxation. Keep your breathing deep and rhythmic at all times. Over time you may find it becomes easier to remain in a relaxed state despite a busy or heavy momentum within your mind. Just cultivating this space is enough for the time being.

      Simplify your feelings. Its one thing to be frustrated, but being frustrated at being frustrated only means more frustration. Your judgment of your circumstances creates one layer of trauma, your judgment of yourself creates a whole other layer.

    5. kenny

      I’ve been allowing, meditating, etc. for a good year plus now and I’ve just about given up cuz i feel no breakthrough moment or anything. as soon as i’m not meditating my job , kids, and circumstances return and draw me back into “samsara” or whatever . I will say that instead of anxiety i now feel angry and bitter alot more and feel hopeless. good trade? i also get stressed more now and even feel intense pains in my muscles especially in the right side of my neck, almost like a stroke or something. yay. my kids never allow me a moments silence to meditate so i just stopped. unnerved and frustrated as to how to do anything and what is the point to anything. god i’d kill to have less momentum but it seems like every step forward is accompanied by 3 back.

  6. PM

    Sen,

    Do you still get the feeling of joy or that good feeling where you just wanna jump up in the air cause of how happy you
    are?

    1. Sen Post author

      Pm, I can no longer have the deluded perception of thinking that something is perfect or lasting, and so I can’t be over-excited about anything, so “jumping in the air” doesn’t happen. I can feel good and bad about things, just that I don’t feel carried away by either.

  7. Markus

    I recall the moment when I truly learned what Sen calls natural forgiveness in this post. My imbalance is toward light-nature, my ex is toward dark-nature; we created constant conflict. She would blame, I would play the victim. She would remember things ‘differently’ to fit her idea of always being wronged, and I would thus ‘owe’ her for whatever it was. Eventually she tried to lay claim to some creative work that I have done all my life, but she’d only taken up after I’d introduced her to it. I shared my space for her to explore; she took up the hobby and we built room for her to use as her own. Then I took back my space, as she had her own to use. She demanded that I pay her back (making her space bigger) for taking what was hers (not only space but the hobby itself). This was a rare fight that brought up real fury in me. Not only the usual stupid pattern, but now laying claim to my creativity?! Soon the day came on which I “must” fix her space. After days of boiling anger, I woke up and just did not care. She stomped about, demanding action, but I could not have cared less if I’d just been dropped into the house and had no idea who she was or what the fuss was about.

    In my awareness, I realized that nothing she said could change what I knew to be true; instead of fighting back, I saw that she was a puppet to her imbalances, too, caught up in her own patterns. It seemed like nothing more than clarity – oh, I don’t need her agreement or this drama; look, she is struggling with her share of the trouble. With no emotion left, all that remained was awareness. There was no need to forgive, because there was no bad feeling anymore.

  8. Mark

    Does smoking included in this topic? Because smoking is technically harming ourselves. I am a smoker and I am harming myself. Do I need to forgive myself or do I need to question myself why I want to smoke? What are the things/reasons that keeping me away from quit smoking? Something is resonate inside me but it’s subtle, and I dont know clearly what it is. Can someone help me?

    1. Sen Post author

      Mark, if you see it objectively smoking is a chemical addiction, to quit smoking one needs to go through the withdrawal phase where the body/brain starve for the object of addiction, creating a sense of desperation/doom/panic/frustration. When you have a strong momentum of fear and frustration already present in you in the form of emotional energy, trying to be free of a chemical addiction can feel even more difficult because the physical craving combines with the emotional imbalance to create an overwhelming condition. Addictions don’t resonate with the state of balance, addictions are an indication of a state of powerlessness. You can work on releasing the emotional momentum in you, of fear or powerlessness, through the state of allowing, and when you sense more emotional stability you can work on quitting the addiction towards smoking.

    2. asli

      Sen, if you excuse me I also would like to put my few cents and share my experience since I also was a smoker.

      Mark, Sen is right, it’s very difficult to quit smoking when you have a built up emotional imbalances. But, it is a very good sign that now you question your smoking habits, I don’t think you “need to do” anything, but if you feel guilty because of your smoking habits, you can allow this guilt. I quit smoking as conscious choice in the last August, when I was still going through emotional release, so it was a part of my toxic release. Since then I’m in a process of detox both emotionally and physically.

      So when you’re ready to allow your darker emotions, the smoking habit will also dissapear (in fact smoking itself is a way to escape to from these darker feelings). When you start to allow darker emotions like sadness, guilt, hatred you won’t feel a need to smoke to avoid them. Like all detoxes, it’s very difficult at the beginning, but very rewarding in the end. You don’t “need to” forgive your old smoking self, but it’s also important not to suppress this side of yours that wants to smoke.

      Thanks to Sen’s articles, I was also able to allow this part of myself that craves for smoking (which is still pretty alive inside of me, I still sometimes want to smoke, I allow this feeling, and it passes away, but I stick to my choice of not smoking). If you suppress this part of yourself that wants to smoke, it’s possible to relapse and start smoking again (For me it’s also OK to relapse, it’s also a process of growth, this is the 2nd time I succesfully quit smoking for a long period of time).

      But I must confess that sometimes it’s very difficult not to smoke when you go through a heavy release. When the urge is too strong for me, I was simply delaying smoking. I was telling to myself I will smoke in 5 minutes later, and even the strongest urge was fading away in 5 minutes. In the first few months (August and September), when the urges were more often and more strong, I delayed smoking till November, and when November came I didn’t want to smoke anymore. So delaying can also be a good tactic when quitting (It also helped me to improve my impulse control and delay gratificiation).

      It was my conscious choice to quit smoking when I was still going through heavy emotional release. You don’t need to do the same (actually it’s a very hard thing to do both at the same time, but I kinda liked the challenge, but I don’t advice the same). I just wanted to share my experience and tell you that you don’t need to do anything, and when you allow your darker emotions, your need for smoking will be less…You can make this conscious choice whenever you feel ready…

    3. Mark

      Hi Sen,

      Thanks for the answer. I think I smoke as a way to escape from my mind. But later I also find that I smoke after the process of release to relieve myself. Is this okay? I think that if I dont smoke, my mind/brain will go on overdrive, like craving for nicotine got anxious and start sending thoughts. But I never prove this though, sometimes I try not to smoke for a day, but failed. So, i dont know the truth yet.

    4. Mark

      Dear Asli,

      Sorry Asli, I didnt see your post before. Thank you for your sharing, this is a new light for me. I thank God and Sen, you, and everyone who is continue to share in this forum. I get a lot of clarities and understanding from them. At first, about a month ago, when I was smoking, it felt like I smoke not only with my mouth, but with my whole body, but the taste was terribly awful. And a few days after that, i started quit smoking, only last for a few days, then I stuck in the same hole again.

      But, yesterday, I have a very intense emotional release, because an event happened. And I smoked a lot, 1 and a half packs. Just as you said, I used to smoke as a way to escape (back when I was started the release process), but after some time, I smoke as a way to relieve myself, to reduce the tense of the emotions. Because, once I felt that if I don’t smoke, the emotional release will get more intense, and this only means 1 thing, the faster the release will be, but it was a failure. Until last night, during the release, I notice that smoke is useless, I suddenly realize, the thoughts were still there, and the emotions didn’t seem to reduce in intensity. And I questioned myself, what’s the point in smoking if it doesn’t have any use. This is a first step for me, and then I read your post, I got excited, so when I feel I am ready to quit, I will quit.

      Thanks for the tips. Delaying, why I didn’t think about this before. Thanks Asli

  9. Wil

    SEN,

    The state of allowing as an approach to life seems so simple, so logical, and once you start applying it it feels so right that i wonder why all the ancient teachings focus so much on Meditation, or the importance of the Pineal Gland as a spiritual center in the brain, or the importance of the Kundalini sexual energy etc…all of those practices are taught to be “the way”…but none of them ever mention the so simple practice of the sate of allowing. Most teachings and most ancient civilizations mention the “Know Thyself”. But it is always presented in a way of going within and “finding out” oneself, as if going within and “digging out” the true self. I am amazed that the state of allowing does not even require any digging, but to simply allow. And one can feel so connected with our true self once we start doing that. For the last 3 years i have been “going within” and trying to “sort out” my higher self, but it always felt like a struggle. Why do you think it is so rare to hear about the state of allowing in ancient spiritual teachings ?

    1. Sen Post author

      Wil, a lot of cognizant teachers, ancient and contemporary, do talk about the state of allowing in different ways; you may come across pointers like – surrender to life, let go and let be, stay with the now, in many teachings. It’s just that very few teachers actually explain the dynamics involved in the process of allowing, and hence it becomes difficult for someone to truly understand what it involves, and without this understanding it’s difficult to navigate the various challenges involved in the process of finding a balance through the release instigated by the state of allowing – possibly they didnot explain stuff because most teachers didnot like to talk too much, or they preferred being mysterious, or they were too poetic.

      Techniques found popularity because they could be “explained” more easily to the masses, and the techniques created some sense of “temporary” relief which was enough to get it popular. Also, many teachings/teachers ended up confusing peace with control, one can find stillness by controlling the mind but it’s an unnaturally stillness, however this stillness was taken to be the “real deal” and hence a lot of teachings started focusing on finding this unnatural stillness.

      Eventually everything has a place, depending on the readiness and level of awareness of the seeker. Sometimes one has to go through the path of using mental techniques, to finally realize the futility of it and thus be open to the understanding of the state of allowing.

  10. Marcello

    Hi Sev. I hope you can give me guidance here.
    I have been in the state of allowing for the last 5 months after years of deep fears and obsessions.
    Literally speaking, a chaos is happening inside me and I feel I have gained a little inner stability and I don’t easily fall in the pull of the mind – emotions cycle. However it still happens and it’s been 2 months now I have not been given a break from a strong cycle of release. It’s so unpleasant and painful, I am so dysfunctional and scared all the time.
    I have difficulties to explain my friends what’s going on and I usually fight with my girlfriend because she tries to stay close to me but does it suggesting mind techniques and promoting will power to overpass this stage of my life.
    I have explained her that I know what I am doing and oku need emotional support when I feel extremely down and maybe remind me key words like gang in there, let it be be open don’t try to protect yourself.
    We have different spiritual beliefs, well she has believes I am slowly slowly embracing the reality of your posts.
    Sometimes I am scared I am identified with her negativity and I ask if I should let her ego but I care skit for her
    And I don’t mind if she believesin the judging God and prayers.
    We have other compatibilities.
    However Shen,what I wanted to ask is:
    I am actually unemployed and am on benefit
    And the job Center Is interviewing me every week and wants me to show them
    Proof that i am looking for work.
    My biggest unbalances are in fears and obsessive thoughts.
    As I am not even functional I don’t know if to apply for jobs which I can never take and show them it so
    I have more time for allowing, or if to find at least a part time job so I am not 24 hours in bad practising allowing and going mad.
    The fears of being homeless and without job are very big bug at the same time
    I know have had alot accumulated and I can’t even focus for 2 minutes.
    How I am going to be able to work:(?
    Think you

  11. Ren

    Well if it’s all really me that’s causing all this trouble in my life (which I do not think is wrong) what about the other people who are also making it very difficult? Shouldn’t things be balanced? I have to take responsibility but you also have to give some responsibility to the jerks too. I guess it depends how much responsibility you choose to give to them. So how about I give myself and the jerks equal responsibility on making me feel bad. I should own up to mine. But I want them to own up to theirs too. But you can’t control people I guess. But how about making them aware of their low awareness? Can I do that? How could I do that if I can do that? Yes, revenge is something huge in my world. It’s getting better. To be healthy about it I’d rather give the jerks with low awareness some awareness instead of physically harming them. So what? What do you say to that?

    1. Markus

      Ren: ” how about making them aware of their low awareness? Can I do that?”

      As long as revenge is your motivation, it might be best to put that thought aside. If you are motivated to act by a sense of superiority (you know what is better for them?), maybe not. Besides, even if you could deliver a message respectfully, truly motivated by love for a fellow being, you cannot make them hear the message.

      The jerks are indeed responsible for their actions, as you are for yours. The bottom line is that you take part in each others’ lives because your imbalances draw you together. It makes no difference at all whether or not others learn or grow. If you find balance, you will find your life draws in more balanced people, while the imbalanced jerks fade away. No need for blame or being a victim. Let it go, the drama will lessen. Being an example of positive growth is a more effective message than any words you might share, anyway.

  12. Parker

    I just wanted to describe what the state of allowing is like for me. When your brain has high momentum of thought energy it’s like a plastic beach ball and is fully filled with air making it very tense, but when I allow everything to come up its like opening the button to the ball releasing all the tense air, coming to balance. Recently I have been looking to the outside for my balance ( Christianity), but you never feel stable, one minute feel gods there, the next you don’t. I realized I wasn’t going to get my inner freedom from that. As hard as it was, I let go of it. Also sen in the past I had emailed you about a physical disability I have, and I mentioned my “brains intelligence is not affected as far as I can tell” and its not, just a physical disability, but anyways and you got confused thinking it was a mental disability and then I got into a huge war with myself with thoughts like ” oh no my intelligence is affected”, but no I am in the state of allowing letting all these thoughts just arise, until finally it will stop ( oh the day that will be!)

  13. benz

    sen i understand the essence of all your teachings i really do, but i cant seem to incorporate them with this stammering problem i have. i only stutter in my mother tongue so i believe its connected to fear and now there is this neural pathway in my head that is very strong. what do i do!
    Should i just notice the thoughts associated with this problem and be aware of them, because when i ever i notice these doubts i want to disidentify so badly it makes me anxious.
    Also how do i begin a neural pathway of the belief that i can be a fluent smooth speaker?
    PLEASE help me anyone, any bit of information i can get will be GREATLY appreciated!

    1. Michael

      Benz, I stammer/stutter frequently as well. Depending on the situation, it can make me feel stupid or silly. The essence of your dilemma is to be free of the embarrassment you feel when you stammer. When the fear dissolves, certainly your resistance towards this shall dissolve as well. In the meantime, you could go look for a speech therapist or wait until you feel your negativity has lessened.

      I saw a speech therapist when I was 7, because I couldn’t pronounce my a’s. Car sounded like “kerr”, so it was kinda funny, but helped fix the problem, I’m sure you’d find some use in it.

  14. Lili

    Hey Sen! I would like to hear what you have to say about religion. I have a friend that is having a hard time figuring out what to believe in. Tormented in his own questioning. I’m sure there are many more out there.

    1. Sen Post author

      Lili, any form of rigid belief system is rooted in the need to find security in the belief, most orthodox religions are simply feeding grounds for belief systems that become “crutches” for people to hold onto in a bid for a sense of security. This is fine for people with “low awareness” who try to use their belief system as a means to avoid facing the fear of uncertainty, however as your awareness keeps growing you can’t help but question all belief-systems, you can’t help but question “certainty” itself. There is a saying – “it’s the ignorant who are really certain”, and ignorance is simply a state of “low awareness”, and you need to have a low-awareness in order to buy into a deluded certainty provided by belief systems of most orthodox religions. Also, it’s not the questions that bring you to a place of inner freedom (and thus balance), it’s the openness to allow the fear of uncertainty, your friend is tormented because he wants a “certainty”, he wants to root his security on a certainty of understanding because of his fear of allowing the feeling of uncertainty, the openness to not be certain of anything. Once you allow the fear of uncertainty, without seeking an assurance in certainty (like seeking certainty through some answers), you state letting go of this pull of imbalanced fear and thus become receptive to “wisdom” – but before you can be receptive to wisdom-based thinking, you have to find inner freedom through the allowing this fear of uncertainty rather than running away from it through the search of certainty.

  15. Michael

    Kenny – Depending on what your definition of meditation is may be the problem. Most meditation has something to do with trying to “shut up” the mind, which obviously doesn’t work. Allowing and total openness are along the same definition, but kinda different, to me anyways. Total openness means you let everything happen how it happens, without trying to defend negativity in any way. It can be tough sometimes, but it’s what’s required.

    1. kenny

      I guess i need to figure more things out before I can do things “right”. It is tough for sure to be open to persecution and anger . I mainly meditate (or try to anyway) according to Adya’s book “true meditation”.

  16. cristine

    Sen,

    I have recently started the state of allowing and at times feel stuck in a particual thought or emotion and have difficulty overcoming it. In particular I feel that either I have always been dependent on my best friend or its something that I have developed over the last few months. I wonder if living with him has clouded my mind or I just feel that fear of lonlieness coming over me so I cling on to him. I know this is unhealthy but I feel a resistance within me and at the same time I should let go. But I fear losing a great friensdhip. I also wonder if I am just projecting my emotions unto him and looking oon the outside instead of going within, another defense mechanism that my mind is trying to play in order for me to avoid me. I fear so much these days I only see darkenss. at time I understand that this is MY process of allowing but other times its so overwhelming it overtakes my whole self and I feel so lost alone and trapped. I don’t communicate to many people and Ive been reading your posts which have been extremely helpful.
    thank you
    Cristine

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