Forgiveness: the path to self-compassion

Photo by Andrew Montgomery on Unsplash

I am deep in meditation.

I have arrived at the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living on Sunday morning early for the 45 minute meditation before the service.

It is a form of meditation I had not experienced before. Taizé is a contemplative worship service based on short chants and songs, interspersed with silence, prayer, and poetry.

I am immersed in the silence when suddenly something hits my leg.

I start. Open my eyes and a woman is crawling over me to reach a seat further down the row. Her foot has hit my leg as she went past.

Harrumph! My critter mind immediately awakens.

What is she thinking? I know they put a sign on the door that reads, “Meditation is in session. Please do not enter.”

How could she be so discourteous? How could she disturb me?

I breathe. Quickly close my eyes again and return to the meditation.

But my mind will not be still. It wants to rag on her ‘bad’ behaviour. It wants to make me a victim.

I breathe again.

Bless her. Bless me.
Forgive her. Forgive me.
Love her. Love me.

The prayer rises in my consciousness like mist from a river in the early morning light.

I feel its comfort infuse my body with gentle mindfulness.

Peace is restored.

When the meditation ends, I turn my head to smile at the woman beside me, the one who had disturbed me, but she is sitting with her eyes closed, deep in meditation.

What? Really?

But I’m ready to let her know I forgive her for being so rude! How can she be sitting there with her eyes closed as if she doesn’t have a care in the world?


And I smile at myself and repeat my silent prayer.

Bless her. Bless me.
Forgive her. Forgive me.
Love her. Love me.

I wonder, momentarily, if she’s keeping her eyes closed because she’s worried I might say something to her.

I let go of my wonderment.

Whatever she is doing is not my business.

The critter and I have a gentle little conversation… Yes. She did disturb me. No. It was not intentional. Yes. She did ignore the ‘rule’. I am not the Centre’s police. The world didn’t end, nor did my meditation.

Am I willing to see the parallels between my disquieted mind and my meditative state? I am willing to look at how easy it is for me to be pulled from serenity into discord? Can I see the parallels with the world around me?

I went to service early Sunday  morning to sit in meditative silence.

In the silence I discovered my critter mind crawling around in the muck at the bottom of the river waiting to stir up dirt the minute I became disturbed.

Do I give ‘the mud’ my power or do I whisper a prayer of peace for both of us; for all of us?

It may have taken me a moment to get there, but in getting to prayer, I returned to the core of my spiritual essence and belief in the power of forgiveness.

It is not just for ‘the other’.

Its power is for me too.

When I feel my human response to be right or strike out, the path to reconciliation with myself and the world around me is through self-compassion.

There is no ‘us and them’ in self-compassion. There is only everything I need to feel at peace, whole and joyful and it begins with forgiveness of all, for all, with all.

There is no end to self-compassion. There is only the beginning again where I invoke the teachings of  Bhagavad Gita, “Curving back on myself, I begin again and again.”


It has been several years since I shared in soulful contemplation at the CCSL – they have just taken up residence in their new digs. Friday night, C.C. and I were guests at their opening concert. It was amazing! Pat Campbell their new minister (okay she’s been there 4 years but is new to me) is an inspiring and enthusiastic voice who challenges and inspires my spiritual essence. It feels  like home to me.


9 thoughts on “Forgiveness: the path to self-compassion

  1. I’m laughing. Not at you. With you.

    As I digested this … and kept reading: Harrumph!

    I couldn’t help but think of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ … Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum

    maybe there could be a re-write … inserting: Harrumph-pa-rumph-umph ..

    OK, I’ll shut up and go meditate or something

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hurruump, hahaha. Made me laugh along too. My trigger is fast cars past my massage room window, and don’t even get me started on loud motorbikes, however that meditation usually lead to wanting the wind in my hair feeling hehe…and the massage goes on with nary a word said.

    Liked by 1 person

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