Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness

Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness

I came to a clear understanding a few years ago that we all do the best we can with our level of awareness. When we know better, we do better. When we don’t know better, we tend to be more hurtful to others and ourselves.

I think of my loving mom who didn’t support significant life changing decisions. I used to resent this whenever my thoughts ventured into the past. Nowadays, I look back with an open heart that comes from understanding that mom came from a different culture from the one I was raised in, so her approach and perception of life were different from mine.

I forgive myself for not understanding.

On a more challenging note, I have a friend whose mother was killed by a drunk driver. The driver went to jail, and she spent years angry at him. It was an overwhelming burden that plunged her into a deep depression and attempted suicide.

After spending a lot of time doing soul searching, she decided to forgive and visited him in prison, got to know him and found he was remorseful for his actions. He was a good man with a serious problem with alcohol for which he was rehabilitated.

She campaigned to have him released from prison and succeeded.  She got her life back and gave the man a second chance. Nowadays they are good friends.

The power of forgiveness is freeing for the soul and can change the future.

Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness lotus-flower

Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.” ― C.R. Strahan

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Louis B. Smedes

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ― Mark Twain

6 thoughts on “Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness”

  1. I found your post really helpful. Over the years, I have gotten better at forgiving myself for the things I said and did when I was drinking. I made my amends 10 years ago. To this day, though, so often when I leave the present moment, my mind is drawn to the past. Today, I will begin saying the Prayer of Forgiveness whenever my thoughts turn to my past mistakes. Thank you!

    • Congratulations on your soberity. We all have made mistakes, it’s part and parcel of being human. I would cringe whenever my mind ventured into the past and remembered moments when I was not at my best. My consolation is that if we have the ability to feel regret, and not repeat those mistakes indicates we have grown. Thank you so much for reading and your sharing. 🙂

  2. What a beautiful post! I’m sure you know, but just in case you don’t or if you’d like a reminder, Reinhold Niebuhr, author of the Serenity Prayer, had this to say about forgiveness: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.” At any rate, thank you very much.

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