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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Choosing To Forgive in the New Year: Master Sha on the Healing Power of Forgiveness

Master and Doctor Zhi Gang Sha is an international wellness and relationship author, meditation teacher, humanitarian, medical doctor and, famously, a Tao Grandmaster. Uniquely, Master Sha has combined ancient, learned wisdom with Western medicine to create what he calls “Soul Mind Body Medicine”. As a New York Times best-selling author, Master Sha brings his teachings and philosophy to an audience of millions through workshops and classes and his network of wellness centers. He trains others to build on the transformative power of Soul Wisdom.
Here, Master Sha talks about the healing properties of forgiveness and togetherness.

At the start of a new year, it’s not uncommon for people to struggle with their mental health. Why is this, and where do personal relationships tie in?

Holiday times, and particularly Christmas, can be among the happiest times of the year. After all, it’s a time of year we get together with family members and loved ones. However, it can be all too easy to underestimate the pressures this may put you under. Spending long periods of time around family members, along with the added pressure to have a good time, can in itself heighten tension and lead to arguments and frustration. But it can also uncover those buried resentments towards certain family or friends, reminding us of earlier struggles and focusing attention on unresolved issues.
The key to becoming happier and healthier is giving yourself permission to let go of the past and to forgive those who you feel have wronged you as much as possible. This will free you up to concentrate on the here and now.
Part of my teaching practice revolves around finding ways to create a positive meditative state that allows you to tap into the “Qi” or energy that passes between us all. This collective consciousness helps us all to forgive where necessary and bring harmony to our relationships.
Forgiveness is notoriously difficult for us to do, but as Reverend Desmond Tutu said, “There is no future without forgiveness.” Science also backs the ancient wisdom surrounding the importance of forgiveness. Research shows that forgiveness directly links to reduction of anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, there are physiological benefits too, with lower mortality rates linked to the ability to forgive.
If you can forgive, you release mental blockages that are holding you back. I teach a forgiveness practice that helps to dislodge these messages of anger, hurt, shame and guilt. Practicing forgiveness in a mindful way fuels us with positive messages, which help to negate the negativity that has grown in us as a result of past experiences. It is possible to heal longstanding hurt and anger through the practice of forgiveness, and it is absolutely key for well-being.

Why is it so difficult for us to release feelings of anger, shame and guilt?

We are all human beings, and we often get stuck in our emotions. This then impacts the way we react to other people and loops back round. We become overly attached to others, to material objects and to our own ego.
Focusing too much on the self creates problems across every aspect of our lives—from our health and relationships to our work and financial position. The key to becoming unstuck in order to release these negative attitudes, emotions and overall mindset requires a practical approach.
It’s not just about an immediate easing of tensions, an improved mental state or emotional healing. Holding onto grudges and resentment (perhaps still stemming from the initial betrayal or argument) can really affect your physical health too. There are plenty of studies that show that holding onto grudges and internal anger can lead to the increased likelihood of medical issues such heart disease, stomach ulcers and chronic pain disorders.
Grudges and bitterness toward a person are persistent feelings of anger and stress. It has been scientifically proven that this leads to negative physiological impacts on our bodies when emitted long-term.
A lot of people spend a significant portion of their life struggling to forgive someone who has hurt them deeply. This is continued mental toil. You can become significantly rundown with negative emotions, which can directly lead to physical illness. Constant emotional and psychological conflict affects our physical well-being. Forgiveness is a golden key to living a healthy and happy life. Even if you feel it’s too difficult, the meaningful forgiveness of someone can prevent your resentment manifesting in additional health challenges (as well as blocking you from progressing forward in your life).
My practice involves teaching the ancient Universal Law of Shen Qi Jing. Shen is the soul, heart and mind, Qi is the life-force or energy and Jing is physical matter. We can think of it as a multi-step process of creation by which the soul leads the heart, the heart leads the mind, the mind the Qi, and this transforms matter, our physical circumstances. By aligning our soul with the purest levels of positive information, energy and matter, we can transform every aspect of our lives.
And through this practice we can release negative blockages and learn to forgive in order to heal. Yes, this is about healing relationships with those important to us, but more than that, it’s about healing ourselves. There can be no forward movement in life if we are stuck in negative thought patterns.
It’s important to understand this and also to trust that there are ways to change the way we feel and how we can forgive. In my book, Tao Calligraphy Healing Field: An Information System with Six Sacred Transformation Techniques, I explain how it’s possible to transform your negative shen qi jing into positive shen qi jing. And in turn, this will help to free up negative emotions and enter a more positive mindset.

How can we find a way to forgive at the start of this new year?

Before you have the conversation, try to think about the other person’s life, their experiences, their struggles and perhaps their opinion on how issues between you arose. It’s not that you have to necessarily accept their account of the events or their view of the relationship, but to develop a forgiving mind, you must do it through empathy. Try to feel how they may feel, or how they may be struggling.
Another tip on actually approaching the idea of forgiving someone (for your own emotional benefit or pride) is to see your suffering as an opportunity to achieve something meaningful. Don’t see the uncomfortable situation and unresolved emotion toward the person as a negative; when forgiveness is hard, call upon your strength. Likewise, if you are struggling to forgive yourself as part of the situation, think of each mistake as a learning experience.
Mindfulness and meditation have helped millions achieve calmer states of mind. But we can go further. Rather than “mind over matter”, I believe in “soul over matter”. Along with quantum physicist Dr. Rulin Xiu, I created Tao Science to unite spirituality and science in order to understand the soul. Our souls carry all the information we need—everything we’ve ever said, thought or done. This information is key to finding ways to unlock negative emotions, such as being unable to forgive.
In my book Greatest Forgiveness: Bring Joy and Peace to Your Life with the Power of Unconditional Forgiveness, which I wrote along with Master Cynthia Deveraux and Master David Lusch, we discuss the practice of forgiveness and how to use this to boost energy, stamina, vitality and even immunity.
As you practice forgiveness through your chosen form of meditation, over time you will develop a way to forgive instantly. This means you will not build up the resentment, rage, anger, shame or regret that can hold you back.
My book includes a specific Tao Calligraphy (Da Kuan Shu), which translates to “greatest forgiveness”. This is a message of unconditional forgiveness, and by connecting with this calligraphy, it’s possible to remove the negative emotions in your soul, mind, heart and body.

Can you recommend a way to approach a meaningful conversation with the person in question to talk about these feelings and ultimately forgive someone?

One of the most important things I can advise is to be sincere and honest and speak directly from your heart and soul. You can prepare for difficult conversations with family members or loved ones by first communicating soul to soul.
If you sincerely offer forgiveness from the depths of your soul—with no expectations or conditions set—then you are paving the way for harmony and forgiveness between you both. When your soul is open, you can speak simply and directly, again, without any expectations. You can read more about this in my book Soul Over Matter: Ancient and Modern Wisdom and Practical Techniques to Create Unlimited Abundance, which I co-wrote with Adam Markel.

What are your key teachings in Greatest Forgiveness?

My teachings meld ancient wisdom with Western medical knowledge. Ultimately, they focus on the power of the soul in self-healing in order to remove blockages in the soul, heart, mind and body.
The challenges we face in life are due to negative shen qi jing, and so to transform your life, you must transform from negative to positive shen qi jing. My techniques are simple but powerful meditative practices involving Tao Calligraphy energy fields. These techniques, with regular practice, help people to discover their true nature.
Above all, I help people cultivate and unlock the 10 greatest Tao qualities that reside within us all, those of love, forgiveness, compassion, light, humility, harmony, flourishing, gratitude, service and enlightenment.
When these tenets are practiced regularly and you work at opening your mind, body and soul to different possibilities, it will become easier to deal with the issue of forgiveness and effective communication with loved ones and family members.

To learn how to use the power of your soul to create freedom from negativity and read more about Master Sha’s teachings and philosophy, visit
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