forgive one's enemies

Forgiving one’s enemies can make a difference to one’s spiritual progress. It’s crucial. It’s the one important thing. 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 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 make visualization: send my positive emotions like happiness, affection to others. Then another visualization. I 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 very effective, useful to reduce hatred, useful to cultivate forgiveness.

Dalai Lama