I visited my old stomping grounds recently – the place I grew up and where some old friends remain, still indulging in the alcohol and bar-related activities I too, once did ….
I enjoyed being with them even though I no longer participate in those former activities. What made it most enjoyable, I later reflected, was the lack of judgment or comparison I experienced towards them …. and I wondered why ….
Thinking about it later, I realized the reason those energies had been absent was because during the time I spent with them, I'd been preoccupied by a different sort of mental process. Instead of judging or comparing myself to them, I'd been busy finding within myself the part of me each one was reflecting.
This is a practice I've cultivated – that of seeing every person or situation I encounter as a reflection of my own mind – of seeing them as extensions of the one mind – towards a deepening of self awareness and understanding.
Then it occurred to me that jealousy, judgment, comparison, competition – all of these – are natural consequences that come from seeing oneself as separate from the world. When I believe that you are separate from me – that the world is “out there”, distinct from my own mind…. then, of course, I will experience those sorts of separating feelings.
When I see the world as the mirror that it is … then there is no more separation. I have become one with that which I see. It's all happening in the one mind (yours and mine). We are one and those stressful states of consciousness are no longer possible.
And that, my friend, is what forgiveness is! 🙂