Our discussion of how we can use the wisdom mind to control the emotional mind to reduce stress and achieve a calm state of mind has helped develop and refine the principle we discussed two weeks ago. I am going to suggest, based on the comments from the class and others, that we redefine this principle and call it:
“Let go of past traumas and transgressions.”
Holding on to bad experiences from the past can not only prevent you from achieving the calm state of mind required for mediation; it can raise your stress level and cause detrimental physical and chemical changes in the body. I will suggest a that corollary of this principle can be: Grant forgiveness or ask for forgiveness. The act of forgiving people who have hurt you in the past benefits you most of all, and you still benefit even if you cannot or choose not to communicate the act of forgiveness to the party who injured you. If you are disturbed by a transgression that you committed, you can ask forgiveness of the person you offended or, if that is not possible, ask forgiveness of a higher power. If you feel that an injury you suffered was so egregious that granting forgiveness is just not possible for you, then I suggest another corollary: “hold a ritual of letting go.” You might try a ceremony, perhaps with some trusted supporters, to signify your letting go of the past. Some people put their past in a box and bury it. Others write out the story and then burn the paper. Holding on to past traumas and transgressions just allows a poison to fester inside you, continuing and likely even worsening the damage you suffer.