Forgiveness is a powerful part of spiritual life and a deeply transformative practice, one that is rarely easy and which offers both giver and receiver a rare experience. Even when we know it is the right thing intellectually, how do we find it in our hearts to forgive those who have caused us pain? And, when we do forgive, what changes as a result?
Over these days, two powerful new documentaries provide the starting point for this exploration of the journey to forgiveness: NCR: Not Criminally Responsible and Out of Mind, Out of Sight. Both films are about what happens when life confronts people with events that seem virtually impossible to forgive and include the stories of families who are the victims of horrific acts of violence caused by patients suffering from mental illness. During our time together, film director Kastner will be on hand to explore the challenging issues, along with Andy and Noella Bouvier, parents of one of the victims featured in NCR; Lisa Ramshaw, a forensic psychiatrist; and Frederic Luskin, Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects. Swami Swaroopananda and other senior staff of the ashram will explore the importance of forgiveness from the yogic perspective.