Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 09/26/2019

Forgiveness, Above All Else

It seems to me that the things that lead me to act unskilfully and that lead to suffering (whether immediately and directly or in a more circuitous fashion) are precisely those things that require forgiveness. It follows that the cruelty, disdain and myriad other infelicitous behaviors of those around me should be just as vigorously and quickly forgiven.

When my wife criticizes me, I should quickly reflect on the burning pain and inner irritation she must be feeling. I know the feeling all too well, having being subject to it more times than I can count work my kids. Rather than reflecting on the unhappy results of her actions I can see the suffering and forgive her deluded and confused attempts to escape it. Just as I should do with myself.

Really, this goes deeper than simple forgiveness; it seems to me that it has to do with a constant awareness of dukkha as the prime mover in our lives. People kill, steal, cheat, lie and do drugs to escape from dukkha but the lay certainly doesn’t end there. Rather than judging why can’t I understand that someone on a train snapping selfie after selfie of themself is trying to fill a void and feel better about themself? Why do I instantly go to criticism of their moral failings and bolstering of the idea of myself as a spiritual practitioner?

It’s s work in progress but I hope to make forgiveness and perception of dukkha more central to my daily practice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.