Hey, pastors, does anyone have a guided meditation on gratitude or thanksgiving - either on hand or in a book? Does anyone have a copy of Sharon Moon's book The Healing Oasis? If so, is it worth trying to order from our friends Across the Border?
I'll trade you this one that I wrote for an interfaith women's retreat a couple of years ago on forgiveness. In fact, so ahead and use this freely, even if you don't have one thanksgiving for me to use. But if you DO have one, that would be SO GREAT.
(edited to add: I forgot to say that I didn't put in too many of those ellipses that things usually have. Feel free to add them yourself wherever you need them. Don't rush through it.)
Intro: Forgiving the past is like extending unconditional love to the future. Guided meditation to lead you in safely forgiving something that needs it – please remember that you control this time – there are some things that are not ready to be forgiven – so don’t feel that you must go somewhere you don’t want to go.
Let the spirit guide you.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath and another.
imagine yourself rooted to this earth,
to the energy and the solidness contained in the soil and the rock.
Take another deep breath.
Now imagine yourself standing, beginning to walk,
walking, and (sustained by the energy of the earth) never tiring.
Imagine that come to a hill and you begin to climb, noticing the terrain around you.
It is the most beautiful kind of hill you can imagine
What does it look like?
Is it dry dessert and rock? Rain forest? Mountain meadow? Glacier?
Imgaine this beautiful hill and imagine yourself climbing it – never tired in your body, never tired of looking around at this beautiful place.
Now imagine that you get to the top of the hill, and the view of the valleys and plains around you opens up. You can see a long way.
Imagine that the place spread before you is the country of your life.
It is populated with all the people you have known and every place you have ever been and everything you have ever done. As you look over it, you can see it at a disance, yet you can see it all clearly – the country of your life.
Take a few moments to locate someone precious, or something that brings you joy, or someplace that brings you peace from sometime in your life. Enjoy your memories and feelings as you look upon that beloved person, object or place….
Now turn your gaze. Somewhere in the vast country of your life, there is something that still feels out of place. It is time to look at thing that it is time to forgive. From your safe place, high on the hill, you can look at it with fresh eyes. You can see that thing for what it is – one thing in the country of your life, but not the whole of it.
You know what it is – this thing that needs forgiving…..
Is it something in yourself? Or in another? …..
Is it some regret? Some broken promise? Some act of violence? ….
Look at it from this distance and with this clarity. See again how the thing that needs forgiving is only one place in the country of your life – one part (whether large or small) of all the vastness that you have seen and known.
Allow yourself to imagine how it would change the geography of the country of your life if you were to forgive the thing that needs forgiving…. Would the thing change in shape or color? Would it reflect or absorb the light in a different way? …. Would it become smaller? Would it disappear altogether, leaving room for something new? …
Allow yourself to imagine forgiving that thing. Allow yourself to imagine that it is already forgiven, and that all you must do now, from your high, safe spot is it to say the word….
Although you have felt strong and powerful, grounded, on all your long walk, you might notice that you feel lighter now. You feel satisfied about the future of the country of your life. You know there are new places still to explore, new relationships to be savored, new life still to be lived. Renewed, you return back down the hill. You might find yourself walking more quickly now – almost running, your feet almost flying off the ground.
Imagine you come to the bottom of the hill. Imagine that you return to this place, to this land, to this sacred circle. You return to your place, settle your body again. You rest. At last, you rest. (Silence)