We are taught to forgive so that we can free ourselves from the past and move on to happier times. Guilt only makes you unhappy and makes you do bad things. Talking about forgiveness creates peace and prevents guilt. You can’t be happy if you don t think you deserve happiness. Guilt comes from judging, from treating someone as if they’re inherently bad. Guilt is a by-product of revenge, you don’t need it, and there’s a way to get rid of it. Punishment seldom works and often does more harm than good. Instead, try to acknowledge your faults and learn the ‘AFL code’ of Buddhism, which is to ‘Acknowledge’, ‘Forgive’ and ‘Learn’ from your mistakes.
This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 30th May 2003. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans. If you like the Ajahn Brahm Podcast, you may also like the Treasure Mountain Podcast and / or the Forest Path Podcast which are also produced by the Everyday Dhamma Network.
These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.