In this third week’s installment of insight meditation teacher Gina Sharpe’s retreat, “Asking for Forgiveness,” she requests that we reflect on those thoughts, words, and deeds that we feel we would like to be forgiven for. Stressing that we should be honest with ourselves, and warning us to resist the ease of blaming others, Sharpe guides us to reflect on our past mistakes without shame or guilt. “The beauty of spiritual work,” she says, “is that we joyously remember that it is possible to shift our lives, and that that shifting comes through a change of heart and mind.”

Through a variety of metta practice and forgiveness meditations, she explains what it means to ask for forgiveness— that it is an internal practice, not something that promises reconciliation or obligates reforming relationships. She asks us to remember this wisdom from the Dhammapada:

“Beings who recognize their own mistakes and change their ways illumine the world like the moon when freed from a cloud.”

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