Author Topic: Forgiveness  (Read 5382 times)

Ensapa

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Forgiveness
« on: February 07, 2013, 08:50:57 AM »
I have been wondering at this point for quite sometime: Forgiveness. If we forgive someone but we put up boundaries to protect ourselves, but the person has really changed and all he or she needs is just a chance to prove himself/herself, but the boundary is occupying the chance that they can have, or in other words, our skepticism and mistrust is actually preventing that person from being able to prove themselves again that they are worth our attention. If we 'forgive' that person, but we dont allow that person space or trust, are we really forgiving that person or is it just partial forgiveness and not full? If the other person have to prove themselves first to us, then wouldnt it be better to tell them to move on?

Im trying to reconcile the concept of forgiveness where we dont bear any grudges and allow the other person in our life again and welcome them with open arms and full privileges, and the concept of forgiveness where we hold no grudges but keep the person on a distance to protect ourselves...

psylotripitaka

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 12:49:32 AM »
Although we forgive someone, it does not automatically follow that the relationship will be able to function. It does not mean we have not forgiven or that we do not love them, but sometimes the karma is not their to produce continuity. The circumstances can be quite complex as I'm sure you know, so sometimes separation is required.

apprenticehealer

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 10:12:26 AM »
Forgiveness is one of the virtues that Buddha taught, in fact this virtue is also taught by many of the other religions : ' To forgive is Divine, To err is human'.

We all have made mistakes in our lifetime, and so have eveyone else. If we are attached to these mistakes and hold a grudge to the person that have hurt us, we need to forgive him so we can move on with our own lives. Holding on to the grudge will only harm us in the end.

But, sometimes, that does not mean that we can pick up as before , being the best of friends . It may be a self defence thing, but we do not want to be hurt again. Trusting the person again is something that takes time and the person who has hurt us , needs to prove that he has changed and is remorseful what he had done. Trust has to be earned.

With forgiveness, we do not part as enemies and would probably remain as friends, but perhaps ay arms length. We would watch and observe before we can trust again.

Ensapa

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 11:06:18 AM »
if we put the other person away at arms' length, wouldnt that be an action that comes out of self grasping? If it does then would it not contradict our Dharma practice? There are many people in my life that I have forgiven them, and allow them a chance to restart the friendship with me even when they have done horrible and painful things to me, but at the end of the day, they turn out to be good friends. There are also friends that have attitude problems that i would rather stay away from and i do...but what if they also turn out to be good friends?

So is it okay to just not bear grudges and keep people out of sight and out of mind as compared to allowing them to reset the friendship as if nothing happened?

psylotripitaka

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 11:24:01 AM »
if we put the other person away at arms' length, wouldnt that be an action that comes out of self grasping? If it does then would it not contradict our Dharma practice? There are many people in my life that I have forgiven them, and allow them a chance to restart the friendship with me even when they have done horrible and painful things to me, but at the end of the day, they turn out to be good friends. There are also friends that have attitude problems that i would rather stay away from and i do...but what if they also turn out to be good friends?

So is it okay to just not bear grudges and keep people out of sight and out of mind as compared to allowing them to reset the friendship as if nothing happened?

Every moment of consciousness of an ordinary being is mixed with self-grasping. There are many different elements to consider in every relationship, so there can be many different reasons why we might keep distance. I always keep an open heart, but some situations are too difficult for my capacity at the time, sometimes the other person repeats their destructive behavior, sometimes the other party is too immature or unrealistic in their manner of communicating or unwilling to look at their behavior. We need to use wisdom in each particular situation. If we experience too much pain, we need to keep some distance and work hard at healing inside so we can approach them renewed.

We definitely need to push ourselves, but we also need to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves the space to make mistakes, for we learn from these and through it move closer to our spiritual goals.


Ensapa

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 11:40:48 AM »
if we put the other person away at arms' length, wouldnt that be an action that comes out of self grasping? If it does then would it not contradict our Dharma practice? There are many people in my life that I have forgiven them, and allow them a chance to restart the friendship with me even when they have done horrible and painful things to me, but at the end of the day, they turn out to be good friends. There are also friends that have attitude problems that i would rather stay away from and i do...but what if they also turn out to be good friends?

So is it okay to just not bear grudges and keep people out of sight and out of mind as compared to allowing them to reset the friendship as if nothing happened?

Every moment of consciousness of an ordinary being is mixed with self-grasping. There are many different elements to consider in every relationship, so there can be many different reasons why we might keep distance. I always keep an open heart, but some situations are too difficult for my capacity at the time, sometimes the other person repeats their destructive behavior, sometimes the other party is too immature or unrealistic in their manner of communicating or unwilling to look at their behavior. We need to use wisdom in each particular situation. If we experience too much pain, we need to keep some distance and work hard at healing inside so we can approach them renewed.

We definitely need to push ourselves, but we also need to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves the space to make mistakes, for we learn from these and through it move closer to our spiritual goals.

I see, thank you for your input as it has been very clear on this matter. Now I feel less guilty about enhancing my self grasping if I if keep forcing myself to forgive people with an open mind and an open heart even if their actions are repeatedly hurtful. To me, sometimes, healing is just a switch on whether or not I want to allow that person in my life or not and sometimes it can be worth it. I have forged some very solid friendships after months and years of turmoil and arguments, all based on the ability to forgive with an open heart and mind. But I do see your point also.

Q

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 05:04:37 PM »
Forgiveness should be something that is done by one, unconditionally to be considered sincere. The very fact that we expect other's to forgive us and resume a friendship as new is already an expectation by itself and it is unreasonable to begin with...

Ofcourse we can view it simply as 2 type of forgiveness.
Forgive those that harmed us
Mutual forgiveness.

I'm sure you are not talking about forgiving another person that harmed us, because that would only make one 'guilty' party... and when forgiveness is given by the victim to the offender, usually in regular cases, the offender will be relieved and rejoice over the generosity of the victim.

The forgiveness I believe you're thinking about is one that involve two parties being in the wrong... which is why you know the other party is angry with you, and when he/she refuses to 'forgive' you, then you become offended.

When we cause hurt to others, how can we expect them to have total confidence in us immediately just because we said we're sorry or that we said we've changed? It is just like a parent, keeping more attention to a child that has lied to them before or something like that. One does not just trust another person... even when we meet people for the first time we do not trust them until we give it some time... so what more about a person that has left a bad impression on us... would we not be more careful and allow time to tell us if the person has changed?

dsiluvu

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 08:32:27 PM »
When we cause hurt to others, how can we expect them to have total confidence in us immediately just because we said we're sorry or that we said we've changed? It is just like a parent, keeping more attention to a child that has lied to them before or something like that. One does not just trust another person... even when we meet people for the first time we do not trust them until we give it some time... so what more about a person that has left a bad impression on us... would we not be more careful and allow time to tell us if the person has changed?

VERY VERY GOOD LOGICAL Q! I like what you've said here because SORRY has become an overrated word that we use so easily, without real SINCERITY it is empty and well "let's bring out the violins" my mum would say. Because you just don't mean it, you're not really "sorry" other wise you would not repeat the mistake countless times, you would have stopped the bad habit or attitude the first 3 times. It is usually  for us to get away with a situation for that moment...we just don't wish to deal with it and easier to just say "I'm sorry: and get it over with! And once we've said it far tooo many "SORRY"ssss. I think anyone would have their limits and lose their trust, respect and friendship in us. And it all stems from one's selfish mind. Simple yet profound and hard for us to see when we are actually in it, doing it.

If we're really Sorry we should show it not just in "words" but in actions... and this action has to be consistent over a period of time because of the "bad" reputation one has created for oneself. They say it takes just 1 lie, 1 misdeed, to wipe away a good man's hard work and lose everything... this is so true.  You need to forgive yourself the "right" way and not spiral down and become worst. So if we want to succeed in anything in life, we need to have integrity and we need to really mean what we say and we say what we mean, then a positive actions will follow naturally.

It is true this saying "we can forgive someone, but it is always hard to forget". Yes only time will heal the wounded and the one's wounding the other, only karma will take it cause. Both is karma, both connected. So for the victim, it is good to forgive, but I suppose it will also be a lesson learned and to wise up instead of playing the "victim" role and sucking everyone's energy or dragging others down with us is also not right and indeed very selfish. So as a victim you need to forgive, let go and MOVE ON!

When we've hurt someone, say a friend, and their "TRUST" in us is broken, it is like breaking a vase and then sticking it all back together with super glue, the vase is back in shape but it has many crack lines... hence it will never be the same. Therefore we should be careful not ever break anyone's trust...and if we do take immediate remedial actions if you sincerely wish to amend the situation because you value the friendship. The highest person's trust one could break would be the Guru's trust in us of course.
If one have done so, I always remember my first few Dharma lessons which was on the 4 opponent powers. 1) Regret, 2) Relience to the 3 jewels,  3) Remedy or Remedial actions to do the opposite of the action that caused the harm or pain and  4) Promise to never repeat it again. I find these 4 opposnent powers applicable also in our daily life if we truly believe and apply the Dharma. After all Buddha did not say believe Him, he is God, Buddha said put his teachings to test... experiment on it, apply it!

Dulzie Bear

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 07:13:00 AM »
if we put the other person away at arms' length, wouldnt that be an action that comes out of self grasping? If it does then would it not contradict our Dharma practice? There are many people in my life that I have forgiven them, and allow them a chance to restart the friendship with me even when they have done horrible and painful things to me, but at the end of the day, they turn out to be good friends. There are also friends that have attitude problems that i would rather stay away from and i do...but what if they also turn out to be good friends?

So is it okay to just not bear grudges and keep people out of sight and out of mind as compared to allowing them to reset the friendship as if nothing happened?
A lot depends on whether we are thinking mundanely or Dharmically. The mundane forgiveness is like anything else that is worldly, ie, there are conditions attached e.g. I have changed and therefore you are under obligation to forgive me and the outworking of your forgiveness is your acceptance of me again. In essence, everything is zerorized. It is a clever way to throw the onus to act Dharmically on the other party and if they do not accept us, it means they have not really forgiven us and that also means they are not true practitioners.

If we were to think about the onus of forgiveness from the perspective of Dharma, then it is not between us and the person from whom we are seeking forgiveness and renewed acceptance.  It is about us and our karma. When we have acted unskillfully and against the Dharma, do we confess and expect the Buddhas to forgive us and thereby wipe away the negative karma accrued from that sin? If that is the expectation, then it is Jesus we need and this is the wrong forum to be in.

In Buddhism when we have done something wrong for which we should seek forgiveness, we must apply the Four Opponent Powers ie to truly regret, to restore the relationship, to be determined never to repeat the wrong or unskillful method and to take remedial action. There is nothing in the practice that states that upon completion, the other party or karma is obliged to "forgive" us. Simply regretting does not complete the Four Opponent Powers but on the other hand, if we have genuinely applied the four opponent powers, then the negative karma should be "negated" and the outworking of that is the restoration of affairs if indeed such a thing is good for our Dharma practice. To test ourselves and even if we truly have regret, we should ask HOW we have restored the relationship (without throwing the responsibility to the other party); what EFFECTIVE remedial actions we have taken (other than saying sorry) and WHAT are we doing to clearly demonstrate our determination not to repeat.

I know I am sincere in my practice when I apply the four opponent powers correctly and I know I have when conditions become conducive for the relationship to be restored. Karma works and doesn't depend on human being’s fanciful opinions.


RedLantern

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 06:07:16 PM »
Buddhism doesn't teach that we reject emotions like anger,fear,or guilt.Rather it teaches that we should examine them deeply and work with them.If we accept that they are a part of what arises,from time to time in ourselves,then we no longer feel the need to do battle with them.Instead ,we practice compassion towards
ourselves. In doing s,we can handle emotions more gently, and over time,we can transmit them into understanding 'loving kindness,compassion and forgiveness.We should do do this for other people as well and refrain from seeing them as the"enemy"instead.We try to understand other people too,experience painful emotions.By trying to understand,we can better forgive.

buddhalovely

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 05:31:09 AM »
"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."

We can but accept that. Let us remember it is not necessary to be forgiven by someone in order to empty ourselves of feelings of shame, guilt and remorse. These will be uprooted by the steps above. In such a case, it is best to stay away from the person.

Perhaps after a passage of time we can send out feelers and see if reconciliation is possible. We may even send a present. But our motivation ought to be because we want to undermine that person’s suffering.

Must, ought to, have to. These are words that in some counselling and psychotherapeutic circles are often said to cause further false guilt and self-hatred. This may be true if such demands are put upon us externally or if we take on demands we do not want. But when we take responsibility for our resolutions, when such determinations are our own desires, then they become agents of change.

Tenzin K

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 05:50:56 PM »
In the original Pali the word for forgiveness is khama, and in the Khama Yacan, the Buddha outlines what the student was to do when one needed forgiveness.  But first, the Buddha reminds the student that all actions have consequences:

All actions are led by the mind; mind is their master, mind is their maker.

Act or speak with a defiled state of mind, and suffering will follow as the cart-wheel follows the foot of the ox.

All actions are led by the mind; mind is their master, mind is their maker.

Act or speak with a pure state of mind, and happiness will follow as your shadow that remains behind without departing.

This is the Buddhist context for forgiveness.  No supernatural pardon can set aside this irrevocable law of karma.  We own our deeds, and our deeds own us. Rather than a point of pessimism, this fact sets us on our own two feet as self-responsible beings with free will.

We are no longer “bad” spiritual children needing pardon from some angry yet merciful divine parent.  Instead, we know that the very nature of the universe points to and supports our awakening to the essential freedom and goodness of our being

With this happy fact in mind, we can hear the Buddha’s words call to forgiveness with humility and expectation of good.  That loaded word “repentance”—which actually only  means to re-think—can be Buddhist born-again into a skillful means to liberation.

With an open heart, and in his heart, the Buddhist asks pardon of the Three Jewels of Buddhism—the Buddha (the outer and inner Buddha, or wisdom), the dharma or way of liberation itself, and the sangha, or community of practitioners:

If, due to negligence, I have done some wrong by body, speech, or mind, pardon me that offence, Bhante, Perfect One of vast wisdom.

If, due to negligence, I have done some wrong by body, speech, or mind, pardon me that offence, O Dhamma, visible and immediately effective.

If, due to negligence, I have done some wrong by body, speech, or mind, pardon me that offence, O Sangha, practicing well and supreme.

By means of this meritorious deed may I never join with the foolish. May I join always with the wise until the time I attain nibbana.

And then with a joyous shout, the khama teaching ends with heartfelt metta for all beings everywhere:

May the suffering be free from suffering, may the fear-struck be free from fear, may the grieving be free from grief. So too may all beings be.

From the highest realm of existence to the lowest, may all beings arisen in these realms with form and without form, with perception and without perception be released from all suffering and attain to perfect peace.

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!

Buddhism doesn’t teach forgiveness?  The deepest compassion is forgiveness!

Aurore

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 09:15:31 AM »
It's a case to case thing depending on motivation of the forgiver.

For the low level minded people like me, forgiveness means the forgiver have decided to let go of the hurt and anger towards the who has done a particular action which has harmed the forgiver. Forgiving helps the person move on with their life. If the person who has done harmed has truly regret and repented, he should understand the hurt he has caused and not expect to be welcomed back with an open arms. Forgiveness is the first step, the forgiver may take time to heal after experiencing great pain. After all, the forgiver is not perfect either. No one should expect the forgiver to be upset one day and be sun shine the next.

If you have made a mistake, asked for forgiveness and expect to be accepted back readily, then you have not truly regret your actions.

There are different motivations different people choose to forgive someone:-

1. We accept the karma that we may have done something to the person who harmed us before in this life or previous life. When we choose to forgive, we choose to stop our anger and the wish to take revenge. When we do that, what we have done to the other person which caused us to receive pain stops there. We received what we deserve and when we do not act back upon it, we also stop the other person from committing more negative actions. This thinking is how a true Buddhist would think. Therefore, if we forgive and readily allow the person back into our lives, we may be opening the doors for the person to harm us more. This is not good for the other person hence it's better to keep the distance or be more careful around this person until you know for sure this person can be trusted. Otherwise, the forgiver will be at fault for allowing the other person to create more negative karma for himself.

2. We love the other person "unconditionally" and is willing to accept who he or she is and everything done to us. We see cases like this in many relationships. The husband cheats on the wife and the wife forgive the husband because she loves the husband or cannot imagine being alone after 30 years of marriage. The husband continues to cheat on the wife repeatedly. This is not real love.

I am sure there are many more reasons why people forgive, please care to add on.

sonamdhargey

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 10:02:19 AM »
Forgiveness has to be pure without any conditions otherwise it is not forgiving. Forgiving is accepting yourself to be free from the suffering of holding the pain like anguish in yourself. Forgiveness need not be that you accept that person and let that person continue making the same mistakes. If you seek reconciliation with that person, then it is better that you be ready for anything that you may experience with that person again. Anyway nothing stays the same and the best is we change, we accept, we forgive and be happy.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Forgiveness
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2015, 06:52:38 AM »
When we forgive can we forget and have a blank new page for the forgiveness to run its course?

It always seem so very big hearted to say "I forgive you" but will the forgiveness mean the ability to let go what is perceived wrongful and start to rebuilt what is perceived right.

As I have mentioned all the wrongs and rights are perceptions.  It is my humble opinion that to forgive is to know there is really no right and wrong it is only us with our duality of the mind that so perceive this category of righteousness and wrongfulness.

Easily said than done, but let us have the ability to think in this Buddhist enhancement of the mind to create a space and place of harmony within self and the phenomena around us.