Sunday, December 01, 2002

Forgiveness & Letting Go

Forgiveness, letting go... These things are always double-sided. When we read such article on forgiveness, about letting go of our grievances of others' actions, we tend to put ourselves in the position of the poor person who is "wronged", who needs to forgive some "scum" who did us some injustice or who is prejudiced towards us.

But how often do we put ourselves the other way round? Have we done something unfair to others- that we need to ask forgiveness of? Sometimes we are the "scum" in question. What are we waiting for then? In the hope that our mistakes be forgotten in time? In the hope that workings of karma had skipped a beat in "registering" our misdeeds?

While we should readily forgive, we should let go of wanting an apology from those whom we feel should ask for our forgiveness. Forgive others even if they do not ask for your forgiveness. The first person you let off the hook is yourself, not the person in question.

If you trust the Dharma, trust karma. Water will find its way to the sea through a thousand crevices in the highest mountains- injustices will be levelled out. But this is not to say we should simply let nature run its course. The practising Bodhisattva's nature is to right wrongs best he can with his compassion and wisdom till he realizes his efforts are ineffective. Only then does he gives it a rest... in the hope that another inspired skillful means will come to mind to help rectify the situation. We sui1 yuan1 (let things be) ONLY after we have tried our best. When a Bodhisattva practises sui yuan in the moment, he does not give up the future potential of helping the same being.

In the inexact words of Venerable Cheng Yan, "Do not let others' mistakes punish yourself." Conversely, I would like to add, "Do not punish others with your mistakes."
Like i said, these things are double-edged.

"Real forgiveness is the letting go of having let go."
"Forgiveness is for giving (forgiving)- don't keep it, don't wait to let go."
-stonepeace JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

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