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Guilt as a hindrance to compassion

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  • Sharon
    Our Western psychology makes us feel, If I feel guilty for it, it is not quite so bad, because I am making myself suffer. I atone somehow through my
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 9, 2003
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      "Our Western psychology makes us feel, 'If I feel guilty for it, it
      is not quite so bad, because I am making myself suffer. I atone
      somehow through my suffering.' From the Buddhist perspective, that
      doesn't work. A mind of regret is something else, if you look at
      your own miserliness and say, 'I really regret I am so miserly.' But
      guilt as a way of atoning doesn't work.

      "It's not just a thing of guilt saying 'I am bad because I have
      this', but taking the time to really see the disadvantages of that
      attitude. What we tend to do mostly, is just feel guilty without
      looking at the disadvantages. But the guilt doesn't make us
      change. The guilt makes us get stuck. If we look at the disadvantages
      of that mental state, we can see the disadvantages very clearly.
      Since we want to be happy and we see how that mental state makes us
      unhappy, that gives us some impetus to change it. So then it's acting
      not based on guilt but on care for ourselves and others."

      ~ from a commentary on the 18 Root Bodhisattva Vows
      by Ven. Thubten Chodron, www.thubtenchodron.com


      May this be of benefit.
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