I heard (His Holiness) the Dali Lama say that we do not all need to be Buddhist, but it is important that we all have a spiritual practice. To experience spiritual enlightenment, on an individual level we must practice something. In this time of escalating violence in the name of “religion” I appreciate the wisdom of the Dali Lama.
The Dali Lami has a commitment to the human values of compassion and forgiveness, he has a commitment to his Tibetan culture and a commitment to religious harmony. “As a Buddhist monk, I have a responsibility to work for harmony among our various religious traditions. We share common aims and common practices……Despite philosophical differences, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of each other’s respective traditions.”
So what? For me, the day-to-day practice of my spirituality includes compassion and forgiveness in all of my relationships. This is not easy, especially when it comes to forgiveness. Forgiveness is a paradox. If I do not choose to forgive but hold on to past hurts, I can not move on with my life in that area. Ironically, the only person who suffers in this scenario is me.
As an element of my spiritual practice, it’s time to take an inventory of my life and see where this might apply. If I look inward and become aware of the relationships where I have not forgiven myself or someone else, therein lie juicy possibilities for change. This is the space I control and can choose to walk in a way that is more compassionate to myself and others.