Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Enneagram, Initiation, Jesus, Oneness with God, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation

The Secret Tradition of Christian Alchemy

Authentic Freedom – the Secret Tradition of Christian Alchemy

Christian Spiritual Alchemy is the initiatory process through which human consciousness is transformed from fear into love; from perceived separation into Oneness. This is the process Jesus mastered and then shared with his disciples, Mary Magdalene in particular.

As the orthodox interpretation of Jesus’ message took hold, spiritual alchemy quickly went underground, hiding in plain sight, to be rediscovered by those who had “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Over the centuries, the secret tradition of Christian Spiritual Alchemy found its way into the works of the Desert Mothers and Fathers, St. Benedict, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart and Julian of Norwich, to name a few.

Authentic Freedom, as it was revealed to Lauri Ann Lumby, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with the support of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, is a modern reinterpretation of this secret tradition – integrating Christian contemplative practices with Eastern Energy Medicine and Western Psychology, providing a tool that speaks to people of all beliefs in an increasingly pluralistic world. Here the truth of universal love is revealed and made real in the lives of all who complete this initiatory process.

 heart mixed medium painting with flames blue canvas

Authentic Freedom – the Secret Tradition of Spiritual Alchemy

Taking a non-dual approach to transforming consciousness.

Harnessing the rich tradition of Christian mysticism and contemplative prayer.

Employing the latest research in psycho-spiritual development in support of your self-actualization.

Utilizing mindfulness and creativity practices to facilitate healing, transformation and growth.



Authentic Freedom consists of four courses which are recommended in the following order (click on the highlighted text for complete course descriptions):

whats-your-magic-lauri-ann-lumby-300What is Your Magic – Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts?

Discover your own unique gifts—the gifts you have been given to experience meaning and purpose in your life and through which you will find fulfillment for yourself and in service to the betterment of the world.



heart mixed medium painting with flames blue canvasAuthentic Freedom – The Secret Tradition of Christian Spiritual Alchemy

Learn the seven core fears that prevent you from being your most magnificent and fulfilled self, along with proven tools for moving through and overcoming those fears.



aramaic-lords-prayer-course-iconDeepening Freedom- The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus

Learn and apply the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus as a powerful tool for moving through the fears and inner obstacles for living your truth and fulfilling your life purpose.




living-in-freedom-enneagram-lauri-ann-lumby-300courseiconsquareLiving in FreedomChristian Spiritual Alchemy and the Enneagram

Exploring the Enneagram as a tool for self-empowerment and as a resource for balancing your fear-based perceptions and behaviors, ultimately harnessing your Soul’s purpose as a reformer, helper, achiever, muse, sage, strategist, enthusiast, champion or peacemaker.


To learn more about pricing and registration options, please click HERE.

Authentic Freedom is a trademark of Lauri Ann Lumby.

Posted in Aramaic Prayer of Jesus, Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

Authentic Freedom Academy – Exciting News!

For the past 20+ years, I have been developing curriculum – courses to support adults in the journey of self-actualization.  All of these courses arose out of my own process of self-development and are rooted in my connection with the contemplative Christian tradition, yet accessible to and meaningful for people of all beliefs.  I have taught these kinds of courses locally (in Oshkosh, WI), since 1994, first in the Catholic Church, and then to a secular audience. Literally hundreds of women and men have enjoyed the benefit of these courses and the testimonials speak for themselves.

NOW these courses are ALL available online and accessible to a global audience.  THIS is a dream come true and I am eternally grateful for my friend Kim Hageman who led me to the Mystery School of the Goddess and the online platform that makes this all possible and to Kimberly Moore of the Mystery School who has been a profound source of support as I have found my way into the world of online learning.

Learn about all of these courses HERE!  Check out the links on the right sidebar menu or follow the links below!

Authentic Freedom Curriculum (the hidden tradition of Christian Alchemy):

magicmemeauthenticfreedomonlinecourselogoClick on image above to learn more and to register. Coupon code ABWOON.Click on image to learn more and register.

Feminist Studies

Resurrecting-the-Magdalene-with-Magdalene-Activation-and-Ordination-by-Lauri-Ann-Lumby-Mystery-School-of-the-GoddessMotherMaryCourseIconwoman of bible pixabay course icon

Click on image above to learn more and register


Personal Growth and Development


Weekly Inspiration and Support:


Thank you for your interest in your own inner growth and development and for including Authentic Freedom Academy as a source of support and guidance in this journey!  Thank you also for sharing these resources with others!

In love and light!

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS

Founder and Director of Authentic Freedom Academy








Posted in Aramaic Prayer of Jesus, Authentic Freedom, Jesus

New Online Course – The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus!

Introductory Price – 50% off through Halloween 2016

Learn more and redeem coupon HERE. 

(coupon code ABWOON)

Deepening Freedom – the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus rescues the traditional “Lord’s Prayer” from centuries of mis-translation and the politics of orthodoxy, restoring it to its original power and intention as a mantra for healing and personal transformation. Integrated with the powerful Authentic Freedom protocol developed by Lauri Ann Lumby, Deepening Freedom reveals the alchemical process hidden within Jesus’ original teachings.

Click on image above to learn more and to register. Coupon code ABWOON.
Click on image above to learn more and to register. Coupon code ABWOON.

10 Self-Guided Lessons

Lesson One:  Introduction to the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer.

Lesson Two:  Abwoon d’bwashmaya – the mantra of Oneness

Lesson ThreeNethqadash shmakh – the mantra of Unconditional Love

Lesson Four:  Teytey Malkuthakh – the mantra of Inner Knowing

Lesson FiveNehwey tzevyanach aykanna… – the mantra of Giftedness and Co-Creation

Lesson Six: Hawvlan lachma …  – the mantra of Abundance

Lesson SevenWashboqlan khaubayn… – the mantra of Empowerment

Lesson EightWela tahlan l’nesyuna – the mantra of Liberation and Truth

Lesson NineMetol dilakhie malkutha… – the mantra of Integration

Lesson Ten:  Closing meditation, healing and attunement


For a free sample lesson from this course, please register for the FREE Magdalene Priestess Training Preview Course.



The Genesis of Deepening Freedom (from the course welcome and introduction):


Deepening Freedom – The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus arose out of my own journey of self-actualization and came out of several “coincidences,” or as I prefer to call them, “Goddess-cidences.”


After the alchemical process, Authentic Freedom, was revealed to me and I had put it into a workable curriculum and shared that course with several others, I attended a Sacred Dance retreat. As part of that retreat, we were introduced to the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, as interpreted by Neil Douglas Klotz, the translation and interpretation of which blew me away.  Aramaic, I learned, was the language that Jesus spoke and taught in, not Hebrew as I had been led to believe.  Aramaic, I also learned is a much more expansive language with many layers of possible translations.  (You can read more about this in Neil’s book, Prayers of the Cosmos, a required reading in this course.) Under Neil’s guidance I learned a more expansive and inclusive form of the prayer that had been part of my everyday existence.  Having been raised Catholic the Lord’s Prayer was an integral part of my religious upbringing.  As an adult, however, the prayer had become irrelevant to me as it spoke only of a God who was male and implied punishment and retribution for our “sin.”


Through the work of Neil Douglas Klotz, I learned a whole new perspective on the Prayer of Jesus. For example, instead of “Our Father who art in heaven,” the first line of the Lord’s Prayer became “O thou from whom the breath of life flows and is present in all forms of vibration and light!”  HOLY COW!  This was a prayer I could get my head and heart around.   The expansiveness did not end with the first line.  The entire prayer spoke deeply to all the places of woundedness within me around my images of the Divine and of having been raised in a hierarchical, patriarchal religious system.  I was hooked! At the end of the retreat, I purchased every resource I could find on the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer and began to make a study and a practice of it.


For the next year, I diligently applied myself to the study of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer. In particular, I was determined to learn the prayer by heart so that I could recite it and sing it in replace of the oldy moldy prayer that no longer served me.  As I embarked upon this course of study, I observed an interesting phenomenon.  As I attempted to learn the phrases in their original Aramaic, some came quite easily, others seemed nearly impossible to master.  Upon reflection, I realized that the phrases what posed a problem for me were reflective of a spiritual wound or fear that I had not yet mastered.  The phrase on “forgiveness,” for example, caused me great difficulty.  I also learned that as I worked on the difficult phrase and reflected on its spiritual lesson, the wound within me was healed and released, and with its release I was suddenly able to sing the phrase without difficulty.


After a year of practicing and studying the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, I was ready for the next layer of understanding. One day, while practicing the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, it suddenly hit me:  there are seven phrases to the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer (the eighth line is a bonus line added later by the institutional Church)!  With this realization I wondered, was there a connection between the seven phrases of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer and the process of Authentic Freedom?  It was quickly revealed to me that yes, indeed there is a direct and powerful connection between the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer and the alchemical process I had uncovered in Authentic Freedom.  I immediately set to work in crafting this course with the soul/sole purpose of deepening and enhancing the work of Authentic Freedom and providing an additional tool for transformation and for supporting us in our individual and collective journey of self-actualization.  I now believe that Jesus taught this prayer, not for the sake of rote recitation, but for the purpose of inner spiritual transformation and healing.  It is this approach that you will learn in this course.  Thank you for giving yourself this gift!



Posted in Authentic Freedom, Forgiveness, Spiritual Practices

Taking Back Our Power through Forgiveness


When you hear a message three times…’d better pay attention! For me, it was the reminder of the critical nature of forgiveness in freeing OURSELVES from past hurts and pain as we free others of the strands we hold of theirs.

This is not forgiveness in the traditional a sense as an intellectual exercise of “forgive and forget.” This is TRUE forgiveness which is a spiritual experience that comes about

Through our own effort and

Through a moment of PURE GRACE.

What these three wise teachers reminded me of is that for every negative feeling, thought, emotion we hold against another for ways in which we believe they have harmed us, we are giving away a piece of our power. At the same time, we imprison a piece of their power, for as long as we harbor anger, fear, resentment, etc. against them, they are not free to get on with their lives.  And neither are we.  It’s a tricky cycle of harboring and imprisoning that creates a undertow of energy drawing both parties into the depths, unable to move with what would normally be the effortless flow of the river.

Clearly, as reminded by my three teachers, it is time to TAKE BACK MY POWER through the spiritual practice of forgiveness.

In exercising a spiritual practice of forgiveness, there are two primary practices I turn to:


The Ho’oponopono prayer – the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness. It is a ritual prayer we say to ourselves around an issue we want to release.  We might also say it toward the other person if that feel appropriate: The prayer goes something like this:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.


The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, specifically, praying and chanting the following line:


Washboqlan khaubayn(wakhtahayn) aykanna daph khnan shbwoqan



Roughly translated, this phrase means:

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.


Forgiveness here is about letting go of our judgment of another’s actions.

As we release our judgment and let go of the negativity we are harboring, our power returns to us and we are more free to be the people God made us to be!

If you are interested in learning more spiritual practices for supporting your own power, come to Monday’s Superhero Gathering.  Click Here to learn more, or check out our free course:  Starting a Spiritual Practice.  Click on the image below to learn more! 






Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Christ Consciousness, Jesus, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices

Course Announcement: The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus

Deepening Freedom*

-applying the technology of the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus for releasing the

inner obstacles to living and enjoying our Soul’s purpose.


Weeks of April 18 – June 13, 2016


Two choices:

Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Tuesdays 9:00 – 11:00 am


Created and Facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS


Courses held at:

Authentic Freedom Academy

1103 School Ave.

Oshkosh, WI


For more information, call or email Lauri

(920) 230-1313 or  lauri @


Two thousand years ago, Jesus taught his disciples a powerful mantra prayer that was intended to heal and transform them, providing support for becoming their most authentic, self-actualized, Christed-selves. This prayer has been called The Lord’s Prayer.

Unfortunately, through centuries of bad translation (and political maneuvering), the full intent and power of this prayer has been lost. Not anymore! Thanks to modern-day translation techniques, we now have a better idea of what Jesus actually taught his disciples. Below is one example of how we might better understand the Lord’s Prayer from the original Aramaic language that Jesus spoke (inspired by the work of Neil Douglas-Klotz):


Aramaic to English Prayer of Jesus 

O thou from whom the breath of life flows,

and is present in all forms of vibration and light.

Your Divine presence lives within us.

Your counsel rules our lives, opening our intention for co-creation.

Your one desire then acts with ours,

as it is in all light, so shall it be in all forms.

You grant what we need each day in bread and insight,

sustenance and support for our growing lives.

You untie us from our own limiting actions

as we untie others from the strands we hold of theirs.

You free us from what holds us back from our true purpose,

ensuring that surface things do not delude us,

From you is born all ruling will, the power and life to do,

the song that beautifies all – from age to age it renews.

These statements are the ground from which all my actions grow.



Thanks also to the inspiration of Neil Douglas-Klotz and the dedicated work of Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, we now have an idea of the means through which Jesus intended this prayer to be used – as a powerful mantra technique for healing the inner obstacles, fears and unhealed wounds that are preventing us from living a life of Authentic Freedom – a life in which are finding meaning and purpose in our own unique giftedness – both for the sake of our own fulfillment and for the sake of the betterment of the world. Applying the original technology of the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus empowers us to use our gifts to bring about powerful, dramatic and positive change in the world.

In short: applying the original technology of the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus changes fear into love and brings heaven to earth – “on earth as it is in heaven.”


9 sessions

Each lesson includes:

  1. Reading and reflecting on ancient wisdom literature (Judeo-Christian scripture)
  2. Mindfulness and/or Creativity practices
  3. Experience with the Aramaic Mantra Prayer of Jesus
  4. Lecture
  5. Group discussion and sharing

Course Fee: $199.00 (including course workbook)

Call today to reserve your place in this class: (920) 230-1313 or email lauri @ $50.00 deposit required to reserve your spot.

Posted in Freedom, Healing

Authentic Freedom Sunday Service Audio Recording

Below is the link to today’s Authentic Freedom Sunday Service.  The theme today is healing the inner fears, unhealed wounds, false perceptions, etc. that prevent us from knowing and being the Divine Expression of Love that we are!

Please note the service ends at the 20 minutes mark on the video.  I’m still learning how to upload and format audio files to video format.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!  🙂

Here is the link:

To learn more about our Sunday Services go here:


Posted in Being Human, Forgiveness

Forgiveness Again????!!!!

Let’s talk about forgiveness.


December’s Theme

The theme for December, according to the Powerpath School of Shamanism is FORGIVENESS.  Whether it is truly through astrological influences or simply through the power of suggestion, I have a hard time denying that this may indeed be the spiritual lesson we are being given an opportunity to practice this month.  As all my old demons come home to roost, I am forced to acknowledge that my own forgiveness work is not done yet…..and as my friend Derek reminded me yesterday, “Jesus did tell us to forgive seventy times seven times.”  I’m not sure Jesus was as much teaching us to keep on forgiving as he was acknowledging how dang hard forgiveness can be for us!  So…..let’s talk about forgiveness.

Forgive and Forget?

Forgive?  YES.  Forget?  NOT!  What happens when we forget history?  IT REPEATS ITSELF.  So….set aside your grandmother’s burdensome mantra about forgetting…..Instead……..forgive….and set new boundaries.  Don’t step back into the hornet’s nest knowing that you will only get stung once again.  And if you need to….shake the dust off your feet and walk away.

YOU have the Power to Forgive.

Yes and no….but mostly NO!  Yes, we have a task in the process of forgiveness.  Our job is to intend to forgive, to be present to the process, to own our stuff in whatever the conflict was, to accept responsibility and to apologize and make amends where necessary.  The true moment of forgiveness, however, is not ours to ordain.  True forgiveness happens in a moment of GRACE and we will recognize it when we are FREE of the inner burdens wrapped around the issue:  resentment, anger, sorrow, obsessive thoughts, harbored or cultivated resentment, the need to seek vengeance or to wish harm (or KARMA) on the other person.  FORGIVENESS is about your own inner freedom….nothing more.  And….forgiveness has NOTHING to do with the other person’s participation or even awareness.  They can remain mad as hell at us or ignorant of the hurt we are experiencing and we can still experience the freedom of forgiveness.  Which brings me to another point…

Obstacles to Forgiveness

These are the things that stand in the way of our ability to receive the Grace of forgiveness:

  • RESENTMENT: Resentment is the armour we gather around ourselves to protect us from the pain of hurt, harm, disappointment, betrayal.  Resentment gives us a false sense of strength and allows us to HATE the other person for what they have done to us.
  • SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS: I’m right….they are wrong.  Again…..provides us with a false sense of strength….armouring us from the hurt.
  • ATTACHMENT to THEIR APOLOGY: May or may not happen.  As long as we are waiting for the other party to apologize for their role in the conflict, the Grace of forgiveness will not be received.  Some will never be able to set down their shield of pride long enough to say, “I’m sorry for having hurt you.”  Even if the hurting was unintentional.  And some….just don’t know they hurt you in the first place.
  • ATTACHMENT to THEM ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY: This kind of goes along with the apology thing.  Some will never accept responsibility for their part in the conflict.  Some are not interested or capable of doing the deep inner work that is necessary in owning their part in a conflict…..even if the hurt was unintentional.

Forgiveness – Best Practices

At the end of the day….forgiveness is a spiritual thing.  It is something that is accomplished beyond us, through us and often in spite of us.  To put it in theistic language:  The Grace of forgiveness belongs to God.  As such, it is ultimately through our spiritual practice that we open to the Grace of forgiveness.  I have found two simple practices that make us available to receiving forgiveness:

  • Tonglen – I address Tonglen in detail in my blog about TRUTH.  (click link to read directions on Tonglen)
  • Mantra – Mantra is a form of meditation/prayer by which we repeat a phrase over and over and over, allowing it to bring us to a peaceful and relaxed state.  The added benefit to mantra is that it has the power to change us by the sounds and meanings of the sacred phrase we are repeating.  My favorite mantra for forgiveness is from the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer: (to hear the whole Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, click HERE.)

Washboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) aykanna daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn

Which translated means:  Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, forgiveness is about releasing our judgment of another person’s actions……hence the difficulty of forgiveness.  It is our judgment of other’s actions that causes the separation that makes forgiveness necessary in the first place.  And…it is through forgiveness that we are re-conciled……restored to our original nature as ONE with each other, with ourselves, with God and with all creation.  And it is here that we shall once again know peace.

How are you being invited to enter into a process of forgiveness?

Lauri Lumby

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God, Healing, Mary Magdalene, shame, Surrender

Those Demons in My Head

Today’s blog explores those stubborn, deep, elusive, hard to heal wounds and where we can go for healing and comfort. 

No Doubt!

Yesterday while driving my daughter to volleyball practice, a song popped up on my CD player that spoke loudly and clearly about one of my own elusive, stubborn, hard to heal wounds  And….I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.  The song was In My Head by No Doubt.  Here the Youtube link:  and a portion of the lyrics:

I try to think about rainbows
When it gets bad
You got to think about something
To keep from going mad
I try to think about big fat roses
When the ship starts going down
But my head is wicked jealous
Don’t want to talk about it right now

Long distance
Don’t talk about ex-girlfriends
Don’t talk about you with out me
Don’t talk about your past

In my head
It’s only in my head
In my head
It’s only in my head

To learn more about the seven core fears (demons) and how to heal them, read Authentic Freedom.  Buy it HERE!

Demons in Our Heads

When scripture tells us that Jesus healed Mary Magdalene of seven demons, Luke wasn’t talking about the dudes in red morph suits donning horns and carrying pitchforks.  He was also not talking about the demons that make our heads spin around and vomit pea soup.  Luke was talking about the perceptions and voices of fear that plague our human existence and keep us from living in the peace, love and joy that make up our original nature in Oneness with God.  These demons, I have found, vary in their strength and stubbornness.  Some we can heal simply by naming them.  Others take years or maybe even a lifetime to transcend.  Some, it seems, stay with us until we die.

To learn more about the seven core fears (demons) and how to heal them, read Authentic Freedom.  Buy it HERE!

Stubborn, Willful Demons

There are two demons in particular who have plagued me for as long as I can remember.  These two demons say, It’s my fault and There’s something wrong with me. I have worked really hard to find healing and release from these demons, but I find the healing elusive.  The worst part is that these demons work together, rarely alone, at torturing me and keeping me imprisoned behind a wall of shame.  And, these demons are really tricky because they come disguised as the virtue of Integrity.  As a person of integrity, I strive to say what I mean and mean what I say.  I also want to own my part in a challenge or struggle before confronting another party.  I want to be clean within myself before taking a challenge out into the playing field.  I work really hard not to blame others before examining the mirror of my own guilt.  See how tricky these demons are?  It is truly a good and virtuous person who owns their own stuff, who does their own work, who can accept their own responsibility.  True……to a point.  It is the demons job to make sure that I never escape from the cycle of self-examination, culpability and blame.  It was ultimately the work of these demons that kept me stuck in my childhood wounds, seven years too long in an unhealthy marriage and hesitant to hold the other person accountable for their part in the hurtful end of a relationship.  It must have been my fault because there must be something wrong with me.  BLECH!

To learn more about the seven core fears (demons) and how to heal them, read Authentic Freedom.  Buy it HERE!

If at First You Don’t Succeed

Try Try again!   Or when all else has fails, turn it over to God.  This is the point I have reached with these two demons.  I have tried and tried and tried to find healing of these fears.  I have employed every tool at my disposal, every weapon in my arsenal.  I have employed the Authentic Freedom principles, the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, mantra, Tonglen, the Enneagram.  And still, these demons sing their evil songs in my head and perform their wicked dance, surrounding me in darkness like Rothbart, the evil swan demon of Black Swan fame.  Damn them!  Literally!  So last night while wrestling these demons in my head,  after trying and failing with rainbows and big fat roses,  I screamed out in defeat, “GOD TAKE THESE AWAY FROM ME!”  I’m done with these demons and done fighting and struggling with them.  Your turn God!  Of course God answered.  This morning, I opened up the scripture for today and here were God’s words to me:

The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

Beside restful waters he leads me, he refreshed my soul.

Even though I walk in the valley of darkness

I fear no evil, for you are at my side.

Psalm 23

There you have it.  Today, God has the final word.

Who are the elusive demons that you struggle with?

How have you sought healing from these voices of fear?

How are you invited to give it over to God?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Forgiveness, Spiritual Practices

Questions About Forgiveness

Today’s blog focuses on the question posed by a reader:  “I understand the concept of forgiveness but have a hard time practicing it.  Any suggestions?” 

Seven Times Seventy Times

Being a firmly entrenched and committed Irish grudge-holder, I certainly have no idea how to answer the question about the practice of forgiveness.  The good news is that my guru and teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, had something to say about it.  When asked how often we should forgive, Jesus replied, “Seven times Seventy times.”  I don’t believe that this was offered as a commandment but simply as an observation as to how difficult and challenging the whole journey to forgiveness really is for us pea-brained humans.  In my own journey, I have found this to be true.  The journey toward forgiveness is hard work, challenging, requires sincere intention and discipline.  If we really want to forgive and to be freed from the hurts we perceive ourselves to have received from another, we have to want it.  In my own practice (and that is exactly what it is….practice, practice, practice) with forgiveness, there are a few tools that I have found to be helpful:

1) Grieve the loss – Allow yourself to FEEL the pain of the loss, the hurt, the betrayal.  Be present to all the faces of grief that might show up – sadness, depression, anger, denial, bargaining.  Feel it and be present to it.  Give yourself permission to wallow in your victimhood…to be the martyr, to be the scorned lover or forgotten friend.  But….DON’T STAY THERE!

2) What unhealed fears of your own were triggered in the hurt?  Take time to identify the unhealed fears in yourself that were triggered in the loss, hurt or betrayal:  The fear that there is not enough, that you have nothing to contribute to the world, that you cannot be your most authentic self, that you are not loved, that you are not free to express your truth, that your needs will not be met, that you do not know your truth or your path, that you are alone.

3) Take time to be present to allowing the unhealed fears/wounds within yourself to be healed….. Seek support through a Spiritual Director, Counselor, bring these unhealed wounds into your meditation and prayer, ask for Divine assistance.

4) Place yourself in the shoes of “the other.”  This is the hard part:  explore what unhealed fears/wounds in “the other” might have caused them to act in a way that you perceived as being hurtful.  Once you think you have identified the unhealed wound or fear, pray for their healing, hold them in loving kindness, circle them with the idea of love.

5) NOW WAIT Another challenging stage…..because this is the stage that reminds us that we ARE NOT in control.  The moment in which true forgiveness takes place is God’s alone.  It is not something that we can make happen.  It is a moment of pure and unmerited GRACE.  This is the place where miracles happen, where we suddenly realize we are free of the burden of resentment, grudge-holding, hurt, etc.  It is in this place where we can move forward in our journey, freed of the past wounds that would otherwise hold us back or simply repeat the same patterns.

Two Supportive Spiritual Practices for Forgiveness

All that being said, there are two additional tools that I have found to be incredibly helpful in being open to and moving through the practice of forgiveness.  One from the Buddhist tradition and the other from the Aramaic Jesus.

1) Tonglen – is a spiritual practice that comes out of Tibetan Buddhism.  I have adapted this practice and applied it to the spiritual practice of forgiveness and experienced miraculous results.  (for more on this practice, see The Wheel of Initiation by Julie Tallard Johnson pgs 248-250)  In regards to forgiveness, we acknowledge the negative feeling we hold against “the other”‘ (anger, hurt, anxiety, resentment) and we breathe that feeling into our heart.  Then, we breathe out love toward the person we perceive to have caused us harm.  Breathe in pain, breathe out love.  It is as simple as that.

2) The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer  In the English translation of the Lord’s Prayer, we have a phrase about forgiveness, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  This incomplete translation implies our need for Divine forgiveness. In the Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke, this phrase takes on whole new meaning.  It reminds us that the need to be freed of our trespasses is ours alone and that God can help us find that inner freedom.  From this perspective, it is no longer about sin and retribution, but about our human need for harmony within our intimate relationships and our inherent limitations to achieving this on our own.  The phrase in Aramaic is:

Washboqlan khaubayn(wakhtahayn) aykanna daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn

And can be understood to mean:

I invite the Divine to loose the cords of mistakes binding me, as I release the strands I hold of others’ guilt.

When I really get caught in the journey of forgiveness, I invoke the Aramaic words of this phrase as a mantra and let God do the rest.

One Final Thought:

And one final thought as it applies to forgiveness (my apologies because I cannot remember the source of this quote), a definition that I have found to be helpful:

Forgiveness is releasing our judgment of another’s actions. 

Humbling to be sure, as this whole process of forgiveness.  In the end, my advice to all of us…..just keep practicing!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries