Imagery Exercise: The Forest of Forgiveness

To Forgive Another

Thanks to Judy Besserman for sharing this exercise.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe out slowly three times (e.g. long slow exhalations from the mouth, followed by normal inhalations through the nose).
  • See yourself walking on a country road.
  • You are dressed in blue or white. 
  • Walking along you come to a forest.
  • Approaching the first line of trees surrounding the forest, you see the people who have caused you much pain in your life emerging one by one from behind the trees one at a time.  
  • Breathe out.
  • Identify each of these people and approach each one. 
  • Ask each one why they cause you grief.  
  • Ask each one what makes you vulnerable to them.
  • Hear their answers.
  • Look at each one straight in the eye and see them disappear. 
  • Breathe out. 
  • Walk through the trees to a clearing in the center of the forest. 
  • Feel the warmth of the sun shining through the trees.
  • Smell the flowers and listen to the sounds of life around you.
  • Enjoy the nourishment that comes to you from your surroundings.
  • Breathe out and open your eyes. 
Frequency:  Do the exercise three times a day, from several seconds up to a minute, for 21 days.
Judith Besserman, Ph.D.  is co-author of The Jerusalem Diet: Guided Imagery and the Personal Path to Weight Control.