More Buddhist Forgiveness-Using Tonglen

Tonglen for Self-forgiveness


In my last post, All-Embracing Compassion-The Heart-Practice of Tonglen, I shared some introductory teaching on the Tibetan Buddhism practice of tonglen. In tonglen, we learn how to take suffering into our hearts—but without harm to us! And then to breath out love and compassion to the source and sense of suffering.

As I noted, while similar to metta practice, tonglen can be a challenging practice, but one with limitless rewards for ourselves and others.

To continue my on-going explanation of the importance of forgiveness in Buddhism:

Yes-Buddhism Teaches Forgiveness!


What Brit Hume forgot to tell Tiger Woods

Buddhist Forgiveness-When We Have Hurt Another-Part 1

Buddhist Forgiveness-When We Have Hurt Another-Part 2

Buddhist Forgiveness-When We Have Hurt Another-Part 3

I offer this short excerpt from the earlier tonglen post to show yet another way that Buddhism shows us how to find forgiveness.  In this case, tonglen practice shows a way to gain genuine self-forgiveness when we have done something wrong to another.

It’s a simple but challenging practice; I hope this piques your interest to take a look at the longer article:

Clearly imagine a situation where you have acted badly, one about which you feel shameful or guilty, and which may be difficult to even think about.

Then, as you breathe in, opening your heart, accept total responsibility for your actions in that particular situation.

Do not judge or try to justify your behavior. Simply acknowledge exactly what you have done wrong and wholeheartedly ask for forgiveness.

Now, as you breathe out, send the compassionate radiance of reconciliation, forgiveness, harmony, healing, and understanding.

Breathe in the pain and the blame, and breathe out the undoing of harm.

Breathe in taking full responsibility, breathe out the compassionate radiance of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

This exercise is especially powerful. It may give you the courage to go see the person(s) whom you have wronged and the strength and willingness to talk to them directly and actually ask for forgiveness from the depths of your heart.

About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

3 Responses to “More Buddhist Forgiveness-Using Tonglen”

  1. Thank you! Tonglen is one of my favorite practices. Wonderful description of how it can be beneficial for forgiveness.


  1. What Actually Happens Inside Us When We Are Hurt By Another? « Metta Refuge - 2010/06/04

    […] More Buddhist Forgiveness—Using Tonglen […]

  2. The Difference Between Forgiveness and Reconcilation « Metta Refuge - 2010/01/18

    […] More Buddhist Forgiveness-Using Tonglen […]

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