Forgiveness

To be able to forgive your enemies can make a difference to one's spiritual progress.
To be able to forgive your enemies can make a difference to one’s spiritual progress.

This is crucial. It is one of the most important things. It can change one’s life. To reduce hatred and other destructive emotions, you must develop their opposites – compassion and kindness. If you have strong compassion, strong respect for others, then forgiveness is much easier. Mainly for this reason: I do not want to harm another. Forgiveness allows you to be in touch with these positive emotions. This will help with spiritual development.

I use a meditation technique called giving and taking. I do a visualization; I send my positive emotions like happiness and affection to others. Then another visualization. Visualize receiving their sufferings, their negative emotions. I do this every day. I pay special attention to the Chinese – especially those doing terrible things to the Tibetans. So, as I meditate, I breathe in all their poisons – hatred, fear, cruelty. Then I breathe out. And I let all the good things come out, things like compassion, forgiveness. I take inside my body all these bad things. Then I replace poisons with fresh air. Giving and taking, I take care not to blame – I don’t blame the Chinese and I don’t blame myself. This meditation is very effective, useful to reduce hatred, useful to cultivate forgiveness.

Dalai Lama