Posted on May 12, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Dear Ones:

Taking a short break from e-book editing to get this written. Still processing all the insights from the workshop/kirtan at Montague last Saturday. It was such a joy to feel my heart open to the teachings, the chanting and the beloved Berkshires as well.

Bernie Glassman and Krishna Das talked about forgiveness. Forgiving someone can be one of the hardests things we are asked to do.  Whether its dealing with an individual who has wronged us or a group that wrongs an entire nation or race of people, the act of forgiveness can help one release hatred, resentment and fear.

One fine point I would like to bring up is the idea that if we forgive someone, we condone the behavior/actions that caused the pain. This is a misconception. We know that the actions caused grief and we want to see that the person will not repeat those patterns. We want some sort of validation that the behavior causing the hurts will not be repeated - that the lessons have been learned.

In some ways, it is a question of trust. Can we trust that person/group to treat others with compassion,with kindness and caring? That is a question that each person has to answer on their own.

It can be difficult to let go of the fear, the anger, the distrust and the grief. Ask anybody who has been wrongfully jailed to forgive his jailers. Ask someone whose loved one has been killed who has to face the perpetrator in a courtroom. Ask someone who has seen animals being abused and killed for amusement who has to rescue those animals and face the abusers. It can be more difficult to forgive than one thinks. It can be gut-wrenching.

The people of Tibet have been targeted by the Chinese government and their country was overrun many decades ago forcing the Dalai Lama and others to flee their homeland. Even thoughmany of  these refugees reside at Dharamsala, India the fact remains that they have no homeland to return to. Many Tibetan lamas have been jailed and torturned by the Chinese military.

And yet, these lamas weep when they cannot pray to forgive their jailers. Krishna Das told of a Tibetan lama who was jailed for 35 years - but this monk had no bitterness toward his captors. He only had love and compassion.

Some years ago, Mandala magazine had a photo of Ribur Rinpoche on the cover. He had been jailed and tortured by the Chinese. Looking into his eyes in the photo, one only saw peace of heart. No bitterness, no anger and no fear of what he had experienced. Only total acceptance, total love.

That took courage and deep inner strength and a living of his beliefs and convictions.

Our recorded history is filled with times of war and conflict. Separation. Division and conquering.

Is there a way for us to forgive each other and ourselves so we can move beyond this belief of separation and distrust?

Yes there is. It can start with one person, grow to a group of people, expand to a community, expand into cities, states, countries, continents.

It can be done.

We can forgive.

And then we can truly live.

All Love
Padme A'Tea

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