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Thread: Do we have to forgive everything?

  1. #1

    Do we have to forgive everything?

    A short talk from Ven Thich Nhat Hahn in 2014 (approx. 8 minutes)





    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    I think Thich Nhat Hanh makes good points for forgiveness. It benefits everyone, either directly or indirectly. Holding on to unskillful thoughts/feelings just cause more dukka

  3. #3
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    He says a few useful things, but doesn't really get to the core of the matter. After all, what does to 'forgive' really mean? The dictionary gives a few meanings:

    1. 'To stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake.'
    This is something we should be working on. After all, we are responsible for what arises in us in terms of how we react to our feelings.

    2. 'To no longer wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake).'
    Which is interesting. Do we forgive if they have been punished in some way, or should this not make any difference?

    3. The dictionary has a view of why we might forgive, "I was willing to forgive all her faults for the sake of our friendship"
    In other words a forgiveness that reduces the damage to something much wider than the initial problem. Should we both fogive and forget?

    Thich Nhat Hahn looks to both understanding why the person might have undertaken such 'unskilful' behaviour, and to resolving the unskilfulness that led to the behaviour in the first place. Of course, this assumes the ideal, that both parties want to move forwards. What happens if someone continues to do such things because they don't like you, or want to get you out of a job, or they just enjoy hurting people? Can you continually forgive and 'turn the other cheek'?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by philg
    Can you continually forgive and 'turn the other cheek'?
    I think in some situations its necessary to just walk away and try to let go of any resentment in oneself in the process.

  5. #5
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    "I think in some situations its necessary to just walk away and try to let go of any resentment in oneself in the process"

    That's probably it in a nutshell. If we let go of what we hold onto, then forgiveness doesn't even come into it because there is nothing to dwell on. The walking away part is about understanding that we all have limits. Good advice.

    I think forgiveness begins with forgiving ourselves of our own behavior, letting go of it, and moving forward with our life.

    "What happens if someone continues to do such things because they don't like you, or want to get you out of a job, or they just enjoy hurting people? Can you continually forgive and 'turn the other cheek'?"

    That's a good opportunity for walking away. Saying to ourselves, OK, it is just not working. Time to move on. Not everything is going to work out. It just is what it is. Our practice is always about reality as it is, not any sort of ideals or fixed ideas.
    Last edited by steve marino; 16 Sep 18 at 16:25.

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