The Freedom of Forgiveness
Self-Compassion as Daily Practice
Wisdom and compassion emerge from the forgiving heart.
Forgiveness is essential for healing, transformation, and authentic happiness. We have all been hurt by others, and we have all hurt others ourselves. With The Freedom of Forgiveness, Dr. Bob Weathers and Douglas Prater have created a powerful new tool and practice to help us experience the freedom of forgiveness.
A joint project between iAwake Technologies & Integral Recovery Institute
The Freedom of Forgiveness guides you to:
- Forgive others
- Forgive yourself
- Increase compassion for yourself and others
- Transmute and heal toxic shame and self-hatred
- Increased resilience in stressful situations
- A deeper sense of self-acceptance
Research on the Benefits to Forgiving
Dr. Davidson, of the Waisman Clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has discovered many benefits of forgiveness, including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Stress reduction
- Less hostility
- Better anger management skills
- Lower heart rate
- Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse
- Fewer depression and anxiety symptoms
- Reduction in chronic pain
- More friendships and healthier relationships
- Greater religious or spiritual well-being
- Improved psychological well-being
Excerpts From the Forgiveness Practice
For whatever I have done to you, or not done for you, causing you harm, please forgive me...
For whatever you have done to me, or not done for me, causing me harm, I forgive you....
For whatever I have done to you, or not done for you, causing you harm, I forgive myself...
Adapted from a guided meditation from George Haas
John Dupuy introduces The Freedom of Forgiveness (1:08)
Dr Bob Weathers on the Transformative Power of this Practice (3:21)
Listen to the 3-Minute Sample Now
Use of headphones will provide the most optimal experience, but are not required.
To fully experience the potential of this program, please get comfortable, close your eyes and relax for the next 3 minutes. Allow the guided meditation and ambient music soundtrack to immerse you in a deep sense of relaxation and peace.
Don't be fooled - it is the integration of guidance, music, and the design and technology infused in the soundtrack that evokes the deep state of relaxation, trust, presence.
So THIS is what extreme peace feels like! I loved it!
Best forgiveness meditation I have heard.
From Dr. Bob Weathers:
I recommend setting aside 20 minutes a day to initially applying, then deepening into, this transformative practice. Just as doing a single of push-up’s, or practicing five-finger piano exercises for one day only, will not build our strength or musical ability significantly, so dipping into this forgiveness practice for a time or two will scarcely make a difference. You might in fact enjoy your first experience of it, and that’s a good start. But what will make all the difference -- in fact, change your entire life -- is dedicating regular time (I recommend daily) to the practice.
This I can promise: if you develop a sturdy foundation in regular forgiveness practice (dare I suggest 90 practice sessions in 90 days!), then you will have built into your brain and body a network of responses that will serve you reliably, day-in and day-out, as well as be forevermore accessible when you run into any specific, thorny relationship, outer or inner. You’ll then be able to apply the technique PRN: as needed. And with certain success.
One more recommendation: start by going easy on yourself. I do not recommend starting with your most difficult relationship, or most profound shame, but rather begin with a relationship which will give you good practice for deepening into tougher, more challenging areas later. Just as with physically working out, where you go gently earliest on, in order to build endurance and strength sufficient for later, more strenuous exertion and tests, do the same here, with building your “muscles” of forgiving others, of forgiving yourself.
If you are in this for the long haul, and I surely hope you are, your investment in this practice, building patiently over time, will return long-term dividends beyond your wildest dreams. Guaranteed!
Final note: I have found that my most important relationships require repeated visitations in this practice. Do not be discouraged. Repetition here does not equal redundancy. Go where the energy is on any given day. This healing takes place in a spiraling form -- going ever deeper, even as we return for healing in those relationships most central to us, currently and historically.
As Carl Jung said: “If you turn toward the Self, it will turn towards you.” So it is with this healing exercise. If you turn toward forgiveness, it will most definitely turn toward you.
Blessings to you in this noble endeavor.
Practicing Forgiveness & Self-Compassion
From Dr. Bob’s Blog Post:
Shame may be overcome, in time, with regular practice of forgiveness and self-compassion, because the latter two are fundamentally incompatible with shame.
In the spirit of former university colleague Joseph Wolpe’s “reciprocal inhibition” — where one behavior provides an effective antidote against another — today I would like to introduce Forgiveness Practice. I learned this practice first from George Haas and Noah Levine, local meditation teachers in the Buddhist tradition. (My own doctoral dissertation over 30 years ago was on mindfulness meditation from the same tradition.)
In this practice, we learn to first ask others for forgiveness for ways in which we have harmed them. We do this in our “mind’s eye”; though there is often the accompanying wish to later address face-to-face those we have harmed (as in the 12-step tradition’s “making amends”).
So we start with asking for forgiveness, then move next to extending forgiveness to others for ways in which they have harmed us.
Once having accomplished these two steps, there is only one more. But it’s the most important in terms of operating directly on our shame, or relentless self-judgment. Here we extend forgiveness — for wrongs committed at others’ expense — to ourselves.
Sound simple? Well, in truth, it is…and not!
One key is to practice this regularly. I did, earliest in recovery, every single day…for years.
You see: I had been introduced to completing a personal “moral inventory,” then making amends, in my early engagement with a sponsor in the 12-step program. I meticulously catalogued scores of personal failings, from moral acts to internal resentments, then similarly listed persons I had wronged (for me: an even 100) and surmised I would need to clear the ledger by personally addressing each wronged individual (if some, only in sincerest, and often repeated, prayer and meditation).
But I always had the sense I had only scratched the surface here, even after so protracted and detailed a season of work (for me, an entire calendar year of dedicated practice). “Scratched the surface? You’re kidding, right, Bob?” might be your understandable response.
I realized that there was some kernel of transformation, at least for me, buried in the above 12-step work…and I wanted to take it even deeper.
Now understand: I have been in my own personal therapy since the beginning of my own career as a therapist (though that alone had not kept me from becoming addicted in mid-life). I had surely done a tremendous amount of inner work, including on traumas endured as well as perpetrated. But there was an intuition, after having committed a year of my life solely to moral inventory/making amends, that here might lie a “surgeon’s scalpel” for getting to the heart of my own crippling shame.
This is when I entered into the above, intensive mindfulness training, focusing now on bringing forgiveness and self-compassion into my daily awareness in a way quite unprecedented — this with all due respect for the decades of therapy I had already undergone. Directly to the source, at last!
This then is the practice that I now share freely with you, as it was originally with me (by George and Noah above).
01 Full Guided Meditation with Instructions (36:33 minutes)
02 Shortened Version for Daily Practice (16:33 minutes)
03 Music and Brainwave Entrainment for Self-Directed Practice (20:33 minutes)
Available in MP3 and optional WAV formats for digital download, as well as an optional CD.
The soundscape for the Freedom of Forgiveness was composed and engineered to create an ideal space to integrate and deepen into the transformational and healing potential of the guided meditation track. The track combines a number of psychoacoustic and brainwave entrainment modalities to help listeners enter into the deep state of mind where forgiveness, healing, and growth catalyze lasting change.
The music was composed using a 432Hz tuning scheme (as opposed to Western music’s traditional 440 Hz standard), which is believed to align more closely with the resonant frequencies of life and of the earth.
These meditation tracks primarily target the theta frequency of 5 Hz, which is associated with deep access to the subconscious mind, insight, rejuvenation, healing, and transformation. The final minutes of each track target a 3 Hz “high delta” frequency to integrate the psychological work of the guided track at the deepest levels of the unconscious mind through deepening connection to pure awareness and the space from which all things emerge.
Entrainment to the theta and delta states is created through the use of:
- Low frequency binaural drone harmonically related to the musical key and tuning system
- Additional binaural textures embedded into the select instrument lines
- Gentle isochronic amplitude beats phase-aligned with the binaural textures
- Rhythmic entrainment in the more active musical lines
I love the detailed explanations and added commentaries along with and before and after the actual forgiveness meditation words in both the long and short tracks. Bob's voice is clear and soothing. My experience with repeated listenings, was that I was able to move deeper into the heart of forgiving work. It sometimes brought up difficult feelings too. But I could pause the track and allow the emotions. The back ground music for the guided track is lovely, the balance is good.
– Angela MacLeod
Voice was amazing, Soundtracks were amazing, Having both the soundtrack and guided meditation was a great way to deliver, quality of sound, ease of use.
Very intense process, but with a gentle handed guide. Tears and joy. Leading me into and then accepting some difficult challenging interactions from the past. I was not even aware I was so unforgiving - particularly of myself - that is the biggest insight.
It was a marvelous therapy for me. I've never been so candid and honest about myself and my past actions...it's like months of therapy.
This process makes me more aware of my personality structure, my patterned responses, and how these automatic responses cause harm and block the simple presence of being to quote Ken [Wilber].
– Gregory H
Dr. Bob Weathers
A highly regarded recovery coach, public speaker, staff trainer, business consultant, as well as author and educator, Dr. Bob Weathers holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an M.A. in religious studies. Over the course of his professional career, “Dr. Bob” has provided tens of thousands of hours of therapeutic counseling and recovery coaching, working collaboratively with his countless, satisfied clients. He has also committed the past 35 years to teaching, training, and inspiring hundreds of graduate-level mental health providers at several southern California universities.
Dr. Bob’s recent university work has included building regionally accredited online programs in psychology, reaching across the globe, along with having developed nationally accredited addiction studies certificate programs and mindfulness-based clinical training coursework. Additionally, he has published numerous articles in a broad cross-section of respected professional reference books, journals, and edited volumes.
Dr. Bob’s current recovery coaching, writing, and in-demand public speaking focus on creatively and effectively applying the principles of Integral Recovery, the leading-edge of holistic, body/mind/spirit approaches to the treatment of addictions. He provides skillful resources aimed at helping clients heal from the shame and stigma of active addiction on the way to sustained and successful recovery. For fun, he loves to perform locally, as an avid, lifelong drummer, in his own highly praised jazz ensemble.
Visit Bob at www.drbobweathers.com.
Doug Prater is an author, meditator, fitness enthusiast, and musician who holds a degree in Music: Sound Recording Technology from Texas State University. Born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, Doug also spent significant periods of his life in Austin, TX, and Atlanta, GA. Always longing to return to the mountains, he now lives in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina.
Doug’s diverse work experience as an audio engineer, web designer, author, and actor, make his joining iAwake an excellent addition. Doug has composed and engineered brainwave entrainment audio tracks for his personal use in meditation, creative pursuits, and the attainment of peak performance flow states, and is the developer of Stealing Flow. He is also the producer, webmaster, and project manager of The Journey of Integral Recovery podcast. Doug is the author of the forthcoming book The Dharma of Harry Potter: A Muggle’s Guide to Buddhism (and a large catalog of fiction written under a handful of pseudonyms that he won’t tell us…we suspect he writes romance novels).
Visit Doug’s website at:
- The Dharma of Harry Potter: A Muggle’s Guide to Buddhism (Coming in 2017)
The Freedom of Forgiveness
- 3 tracks (73:39 minutes total) for digital download
- 1 downloadable high quality zipped MP3 file – Mac and PC compatible
- 1 optional downloadable zipped WAV file – Mac and PC compatible
- 1 optional CD
- User eManual (downloadable PDF)
- Ongoing support (responsive email, active Facebook forum, FAQs, videos, audios)