Author Topic: A Lesson of Forgiveness  (Read 13609 times)

sonamdhargey

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
A Lesson of Forgiveness
« on: January 27, 2013, 09:19:24 AM »
A very enlightening story of Buddha forgiving and teaching forgiveness and acceptance through actions. I'm caught up with what other's say about me and at times i do get affected by their words. After reading this story to find it so true that it all came from my own mind.

The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spit on his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?” The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit on somebody’s face, he will ask, “What next?” He had no such experience in his past. He had insulted people and they had become angry and they had reacted. Or if they were cowards and weaklings, they had smiled, trying to bribe the man. But Buddha was like neither, he was not angry nor in any way offended, nor in any way cowardly. But just matter-of-factly he said, “What next?” There was no reaction on his part.

Buddha’s disciples became angry, they reacted. His closest disciple, Ananda, said, “This is too much, and we cannot tolerate it. He has to be punished for it. Otherwise everybody will start doing things like this.”

Buddha said, “You keep silent. He has not offended me, but you are offending me. He is new, a stranger. He must have heard from people something about me, that this man is an atheist, a dangerous man who is throwing people off their track, a revolutionary, a corrupter. And he may have formed some idea, a notion of me. He has not spit on me, he has spit on his notion. He has spit on his idea of me because he does not know me at all, so how can he spit on me?

Read more here: http://www.youaretrulyloved.com/enlightenment/the-buddha-teaches-a-lesson-on-forgiveness/

bambi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 12:49:06 PM »
Wow! The teaching was so profound! I teared while reading it because of the love and compassion Buddha showed and the explanation that He used that showed me everything is impermanent! Even being angry is just something that will pass as fast as the flow of the river. From now on, I must force myself to control and be mindful! Thank you for the beautiful share SD! Below is the paragraph that really stuck out!


Buddha said, “Forgive? But I am not the same man to whom you did it. The Ganges goes on flowing, it is never the same Ganges again. Every man is a river. The man you spit upon is no longer here. I look just like him, but I am not the same, much has happened in these twenty-four hours! The river has flowed so much. So I cannot forgive you because I have no grudge against you.”

dondrup

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 816
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 01:37:56 PM »
Buddha clearly pointed out that the man who spit, the man on whom he spit (i.e. Buddha) and the action of spitting no longer exist.  The Ganges River that goes on flowing is not the same Ganges again.  And man is likened to the Ganges River.  These show that all phenomena are impermanent.

Buddha had also indicated that spitting is a way of saying something. The man had spit on his own mind, his notion of who Buddha is and not who Buddha actually is!  Here, Buddha is teaching us about how all phenomena arise in dependence of our mind. 

Finally, Buddha who is all-knowing and compassionate had skillfully taught Ananda and the man about forgiveness.  Who is there to offend when the person whom you had offended does not exist anymore?  We should be mindful and aware of our reaction to situations.

Manjushri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 06:39:16 PM »
What a great teaching by Buddha to impart knowledge on impermanence and mindfulness.

Impermanence that whatever reaction we have to a situation passes by after 10 minutes, 30 minutes , 1 hour, whatever it is, it will pass and we will forget about our reaction/anger/fear/jealousy. It is a teaching on mindfulness because we have to be mindful of our feelings. We have to be able to see the anger arise in us, recognize that it is anger, be mindful of it, and supress it.

Everytime we react, we create karma. And what's silly is that we react for the instant, and after a while, we forget about it and it becomes a distant memory. But the karma we created for ourselves stays. And the more we react in the situation, the more it becomes a habit, the worst it gets and the harder for one to avoid and get rid of it eventually.

It's a great way to look at it, that we are a different person every minute. Because our minds keep changing, our behaviour, thoughts and feelings changes. So we react to our own portrayal of the situation. Who's fault is it?
 

rossoneri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • Email
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 03:38:44 AM »
How i wish everyone in this world will be have the chance to read the article and able to understand and contemplate. Especially to those who are always with a lot of anger and pride. Yes, we are in fact not the same person daily as what we think we are or even just for few hours. It is very important for us in any situation we are aware of what we say and do, be aware and mindful is the key word here.


Emptiness is a remedy for the foundation of all delusions—ignorance—so all the other delusions will disappear. The minute one meditates on emptiness, anger for example, will stop. Anger arises when you believe in the false I, false object—all this which does not exist. So when one meditates on emptiness of the self and other objects, there is no foundation for anger. This is the most powerful antidote. But if it arises again, it is because there is no continuation of the meditation; the meditation, the mindfulness, has stopped. The problem is to remember the technique. Once you remember the technique, it always works. When you don't remember the technique, it is delayed and the delusion, anger and so forth, has already arisen and taken you over.
- Lama Yeshe

apprenticehealer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 05:02:25 AM »
This is such a powerful teaching on forgiveness, compassion, attachment and to be in the moment, as nothing is permanent.

Buddha taught his disciple Ananda that it was the notion that the man spat on Buddha and not on Buddha himself. It is all about one's perception of any situation. Ananda's perception at that time was he felt that the man had disrespected Buddha and had given the worst insult by spitting at Buddha.  Buddha in his wisdom and compassion , explained that the man had a preconceived idea that Buddha and Buddha's teachings were dangerous.

We must always 'look beyond' a man's action and not take it at face value, and take it to heart. To try to understand where the man is coming from - the source of his anger, his pain, bitterness, lack of self esteem, his ego, ignorance.
When we face situations like this, we must always be mindful to hold Buddha's teachings close to us , in our reactions and in our view of what had just happened. Most importantly, realise that nothing is permanent , everything passes into the next moment. And every moment changes.

Tenzin K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 835
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 04:43:24 PM »
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
It’s a hard thing to do—to completely let go of something painful and forgive the person who may or may not have realized what they did. At my angriest point, I was convinced the person who hurt me did it with full intention and cruelty. I felt not a shred of compassion; just unadulterated pain and rage.

Then I realized: unless someone is a sociopath, they are rarely without feeling. And if they’ve hurt another person, even if their ego prevents them from admitting it, odds are they feel remorse on some level.

No one is purely bad, and everyone carries their own pain which influences the decisions they make. This doesn’t condone their thoughtless, insensitive, or selfish decisions, but it makes them easier to understand.

After all, we’ve all been thoughtless, insensitive, and selfish at times. Usually, we have good intentions.

And for the most part, we all do the best we can from day to day—even when we hurt someone; even when we’re too stubborn, ashamed, or in denial to admit the hurt we’ve caused.

So how do you forgive someone when every fiber of your being resists? How do you look at them lovingly when you still have the memory of their unloving action? How do let go of the way you wish things had worked out if only they made a different choice?

Readers offered nearly 150 ideas to help forgive someone when it’s hard. The ones that resonated with my most strongly were:

I remember them as a child and it’s much easier! -Joy Thompson
I remind myself that I forgive not for them but for me and that it’s easier to forgive than to hang on to so much anger, hurt and betrayal. -Sarah Clark
I just acknowledge that we are humans, so we are allowed to make mistakes. -Haydee Lizbeth Lopez Cruz
Remind yourself that they are not separate from you; they only appear that way. Then you will realize you are one, and it is yourself you are forgiving. -Justin Hayden
Do not keep thinking of the past or the bad thing that happened; when you let go of it, you get over the anger/bitterness that you felt and it clears the path of forgiveness! The best thing is time! -Ashna Singh
Remember that we are all doing the best we can at the time. -Diane Paul
Remind yourself of how much forgiveness would mean to you if it was your turn for a mistake! – Carol Mcbride-Safford
Wayne Dwyer describes how hate is love which has been turned around. Seeing the expression of what can’t be forgiven as love makes it easier to forgive. Were also all doing the best we can, according to our own evolutionary state, including those we find hard to forgive. – Lise Heeley
Because it takes less energy to love and forgive than it does to stay angry and hold a grudge. It brings peace to your life. -Linda Adams
I know that I need to forgive someone, not for their benefit, but for my own peace of mind. Don’t do it for them, do it for you! -Cathryn Kent
You remember why you love them. Love is about forgiveness.- Holly Chapman
Forgiveness comes easier with the passing of time. I tend to find that, if I am wronged, I forgive the person before they forgive themselves, and when I am in need of forgiveness, it is I who feels the guilt for longer. -Mandy Richardson
Stop thinking and just do it. Open your heart and forgive. -Lindsey Windrow
Don’t force it. If I don’t feel forgiving, I can at least not act on my anger. Eventually forgiveness will come if you welcome it. -Julie Trottier
Just learn to smile and let things go. -Sudharma Lama
Give up on all hope of a better past. -Matt Child
Every time you think of them send them love. After a while it gets easy. -Crystal Chang
Meditate, meditate and meditate some more until it’s gone! -Margot Knight-Guijt
The harder it is to forgive someone else, the more I am responsible. When I understand and forgive myself, forgiving others is easy. -Pamela Picard
Two different approaches. One involves restoring your boundaries and sense of protection first. The other involves focusing on what your body is feeling and stop dwelling on the offense. Both involve being present. -Chris Campa
Forgiveness comes easy when you know that what people say or do is about them, it’s not about you. -Kim Kings
Shift the focus, feel the pain and think of the thousands of others in the world who are also feeling the same pain, then send a loving-kindness message to everyone to be relieved of this suffering. -Nick Ong
When it happens I often ask myself “What strengths must I develop further from this?” Often the feeling of resentment just goes away, slowly but surely, because I wasn’t focusing on the person that wronged me, but the lesson that the event was trying to tell me. -Natassia Callista Alicia
I allow myself to feel again whatever I didn’t express “in the moment” when I was with them. Forgiveness always seem to follow those (usually) difficult emotions. -Cynthia Ruprecht Hunt
Write a brutally honest, emotionally raw letter telling them how much they have hurt and angered you, then tear it up and burn it. As you watch the smoke rise, think about the fact that you are not that hurt and that anger. It is fleeting, just like everything else. As the smoke carrying your hurt and disappointment disappears into the air, you can let it go. -Renate Wuersig
For some wrongs, I just have to remember that they are responsible for their actions and then it is easier for me to just let it be. -Karen Garland
By remembering that it will free me from the burden of the stress I feel, also, if I can’t forgive then how can I expect to ever be forgiven? -Leslie Brown
Just look to the future instead of focusing on what’s past…think of creating new good memories to wipe away old bad ones. -Elizabeth Lindsay
It becomes easy when you remember a time when you were forgiven, centering on how it made you feel. -Louisya Graves
Understand this: whether you like it or not, over time, you will stop feeling the pain, so why hold on to something that’s going to away anyway? -Nirav KAKU
How did I forgive when it was hard? I came to this realization: no one ever gets to the end of their life and thinks, “I wish I stayed angry longer.” They generally say one of three things: “I’m sorry,” “I forgive you,” or “I love you.”

pgdharma

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 10:47:13 AM »
We have so much anger and pride and every second our emotions change, nothing is permanent. Yet we hold on to it due to our delusions and ignorance.

Forgiveness is truly an act of self-transformation. When we forgive we transform a negative mental state of resentment and anger into a positive mental state of goodwill. The purpose of forgiveness is to rid our self of unskillful emotions, not to make the other person feel guilty and to practice understanding and compassion. It is about giving up self centeredness of holding onto our feelings of bitterness and indignity. If we learn to forgive than we will have nothing to lose except for all regret, sorrows and suffering but we gain happiness.

Q

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 02:10:00 PM »
So wise... I wouldn't have thought of that at all!

It is true, how the Buddha say on the ways we react in certain situations, which is either to lash out or to hide. We are always governed by our emotions.

The Buddha is so skillful in so many ways. When we say forgiveness, it is common that people would think it is reconciling when in actuality these two are totally different things.

The Buddha on forgiveness: "When you forgive me for harming you, you decide not to retaliate, to seek no revenge. You don’t have to like me. You simply unburden yourself of the weight of resentment and cut the cycle of retribution that would otherwise keep us ensnarled in an ugly samsaric wrestling match. This is a gift you can give us both, totally on your own, without my having to know or understand what you’ve done."

The Buddha on reconciling: "Reconciliation — patisaraniya-kamma — means a return to amicability, and that requires more than forgiveness. It requires the reestablishing of trust. If I deny responsibility for my actions, or maintain that I did no wrong, there’s no way we can be reconciled. Similarly, if I insist that your feelings don’t matter, or that you have no right to hold me to your standards of right and wrong, you won’t trust me not to hurt you again. To regain your trust, I have to show my respect for you and for our mutual standards of what is and is not acceptable behavior; to admit that I hurt you and that I was wrong to do so; and to promise to exercise restraint in the future. At the same time, you have to inspire my trust, too, in the respectful way you conduct the process of reconciliation. Only then can our friendship regain a solid footing."


Forgiveness is great, but just forgiveness will not bring peace in the long term as the root of the very cause of any disagreement must be up rooted and promised to not do such actions again. Only then true harmony can be achieved.

Q

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 02:19:09 PM »
Here's the full story of the above:

The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spit on his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?” The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit on somebody’s face, he will ask, “What next?” He had no such experience in his past. He had insulted people and they had become angry and they had reacted. Or if they were cowards and weaklings, they had smiled, trying to bribe the man. But Buddha was like neither, he was not angry nor in any way offended, nor in any way cowardly. But just matter-of-factly he said, “What next?” There was no reaction on his part.

Buddha’s disciples became angry, they reacted. His closest disciple, Ananda, said, “This is too much, and we cannot tolerate it. He has to be punished for it. Otherwise everybody will start doing things like this.”

Buddha said, “You keep silent. He has not offended me, but you are offending me. He is new, a stranger. He must have heard from people something about me, that this man is an atheist, a dangerous man who is throwing people off their track, a revolutionary, a corrupter. And he may have formed some idea, a notion of me. He has not spit on me, he has spit on his notion. He has spit on his idea of me because he does not know me at all, so how can he spit on me?

“If you think on it deeply,” Buddha said, “he has spit on his own mind. I am not part of it, and I can see that this poor man must have something else to say because this is a way of saying something. Spitting is a way of saying something. There are moments when you feel that language is impotent: in deep love, in intense anger, in hate, in prayer. There are intense moments when language is impotent. Then you have to do something. When you are angry, intensely angry, you hit the person, you spit on him, you are saying something. I can understand him. He must have something more to say, that’s why I’m asking, “What next?”

The man was even more puzzled! And Buddha said to his disciples, “I am more offended by you because you know me, and you have lived for years with me, and still you react.”

Puzzled, confused, the man returned home. He could not sleep the whole night. When you see a Buddha, it is difficult, impossible to sleep again the way you used to sleep before. Again and again he was haunted by the experience. He could not explain it to himself, what had happened. He was trembling all over and perspiring. He had never come across such a man; he shattered his whole mind and his whole pattern, his whole past.

The next morning he was back there. He threw himself at Buddha’s feet. Buddha asked him again, “What next? This, too, is a way of saying something that cannot be said in language. When you come and touch my feet, you are saying something that cannot be said ordinarily, for which all words are a little narrow; it cannot be contained in them.” Buddha said, “Look, Ananda, this man is again here, he is saying something. This man is a man of deep emotions.”

The man looked at Buddha and said, “Forgive me for what I did yesterday.”

Buddha said, “Forgive? But I am not the same man to whom you did it. The Ganges goes on flowing, it is never the same Ganges again. Every man is a river. The man you spit upon is no longer here. I look just like him, but I am not the same, much has happened in these twenty-four hours! The river has flowed so much. So I cannot forgive you because I have no grudge against you.”

“And you also are new. I can see you are not the same man who came yesterday because that man was angry and he spit, whereas you are bowing at my feet, touching my feet. How can you be the same man? You are not the same man, so let us forget about it. Those two people, the man who spit and the man on whom he spit, both are no more. Come closer. Let us talk of something else.”


***********************************

I love how the Buddha told his disciples  “I am more offended by you because you know me, and you have lived for years with me, and still you react.”

It reminds me of how my Guru would be so disappointed with us whenever we react badly, because He has taught us so much and yet, we cant even control our minds... so little transformation. One thing is for sure, our Guru wants nothing from us except for our sincere practice in Dharma and transformation.

The last two paragraph of the story is mind blowing... I have never thought of things this way even though I kind of understand the concept of impermanence... but this two paragraphs shows much deeper than just impermanence... I think the Buddha is pointing out about non-self grasping? Any ideas anyone?

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 04:57:28 AM »
Well, I am not the Buddha and at the moment, I do my best to have a measure of self-restraint on my emotions although I must admit, it is not the best but not the worse either. However, I do see what the Buddha is talking about of the flowing river and all. He is imparting the wisdom of forgiveness is to let go of our feelings and emotions of what had happened.

Some of us hold on to the hurt or grievances we had experience many years ago. The bad thing about such holding on to is that it will definitely surface again. People who hold on to emotions and experiences will definitely create the cause to be reborn as a spirit. Even in this life, this holding on to will affect relationships and create anger to arise in ourselves. Wars are started because people hold on to differences and the effects can lasts for generations upon generations like the middle east. So, the wisdom that the Buddha taught here if practiced can resolve many, many unnecessary conflicts.

RedLantern

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 758
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 03:09:10 PM »
Almost unanimously,all religions and philosophies teach the same lesson;forgive for a better life.
In Buddhism, the act of giving is more important for those who are forgiving than those who need to be forgiven,for a simple reason-those needed to be forgiven.,since they are subjected to  the laws of karma in
which every bad actions to themselves.
Those who are not able to forgive,however ,will attract a bad karma to themselves,because forgiveness is a lesson that needs to be learned in many different incarnations.
So.the best attitude is to forgive unconditionally,as the aggresors will face their karma anyway.Those who
forgiveness do not attract bad karma to themselves,and will enjoy life without resentments or anger.



































Jessie Fong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 08:08:40 AM »
How often do we hear "Forgive and forget" -- it is so much easier said than done. 

To forgive a person is to stop whatever resentment or anger that has resulted through being offended by a disagreement.


http://www.wikihow.com/Forgive

How to Forgive

One of the thorniest and most difficult things we humans are ever called upon to do is to respond to evil with kindness, and to forgive the unforgivable. We love to read stories about people who have responded to hatred with love, but when that very thing is demanded of us personally, our default seems to be anger, angst (dread or anguish), depression, righteousness, hatred, etc. Yet study after study shows that one of the keys to longevity and good health is to develop a habit of gratitude and let go of past hurts.

Want to live a long, happy life? Forgive the unforgivable. It really is the kindest thing you can do for yourself. Your enemy may not deserve to be forgiven for all the pain and sadness and suffering purposefully inflicted on your life, but you deserve to be free of this evil.

Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 03:37:39 PM »
The man had spit on the Buddha out of anger, a delusion. The Buddha recognized this and was not angry. The Buddha's reaction or rather non-reaction is a lesson in overcoming aversion or anger. Normally, when someone insults us verbally or hits us physically, our immediate reaction is to retaliate verbally or physically. This is our normal reaction due to lifetimes of habituation, of wanting to win and not willing to lose, whether it is an argument or an exchange of blows.

In the Majjhima Nikaya, i, 124, the Buddha teaches endurance of abuse. He says to Phagguna who has been abused by others:

"Wherefore, Phagguna, if anyone to thy face should abuse thee... if he were to strike thee with fist or hurl clods of earth at thee, or beat thee with a stick, or give thee a blow with a sword, - yet must thou set aside all worldly considerations, and thus must thou train thyself: "My heart shall be unwavering. No evil word will I send forth. I will abide compassionate of others' welfare, of kindly heart, without resentment." Thus must thou train thyself, Phagguna.""

Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: A Lesson of Forgiveness
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 03:47:49 PM »
The Buddha's teaching on returning good for evil or rather the practice of non-violence is found in the following verses in the Dhammapada, vv.3-4.

"This man abused me:, he beat me and conquered,
Conquered and plundered." Wrapped up in such thoughts,
Never appeased is the hatred of such men.

"This man abused me, he beat me and conquered,
Conquered and plundered." Stripped bare of such thoughts,
Quickly appeased is the hatred of such men.

Never by hatred is hatred appeased,
Nay! but by not-hate: that's the old-time Law."