Cover image for Forgiving and Compassion

Forgiving and Compassion

Ajahn Amaro (2021)

Sunday Talk on the 18th September 2016

Good afternoon to you all. The theme for the Sunday talk this week is ‘Forgiving and Compassion’ so I will offer some reflections around these significant areas of our lives. I will start with forgiving.

This is a very important aspect of spiritual training and, as a way of life, it is a counterpoint to the attitude of being unforgiving, the attitude of wanting revenge, carrying grudges around. It’s about working with those attitudes of mind where we are determined to hang onto our negativity and our hurts, and to wear those proudly upon our sleeves – all the wrongs that have been done to me, the things that were unforgivable – that we are habitually conditioned to carry around and make much of. Sometimes people find themselves building their entire lives around wanting revenge, or resenting something that’s happened to them in their life, there’s something in the heart that can’t forgive.

When I speak in this way, in case any of you are wondering, I’m not reading anybody’s mind. Oftentimes when one starts talking about these themes people think, ‘How did he know!’ Please be reassured that it’s just averages, the law of statistics and how life is for many of us. I cannot read people’s minds.