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Forgiveness: Making Beneficial Judgments in Relation to Self and Others

  • Ajahn Amaro
Chapter
Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)

Abstract

This chapter endeavors to address a particular application of mindfulness of thinking and how it can be used in ways conducive to improved well-being. One aspect of mind that has a significant impact on emotional life and well-being is self-criticism and the criticism of others. We all occasionally act in ways that cause distress, to ourselves and to others; therefore how such actions are acknowledged, and how an individual works with them, is important. This chapter explores how such situations can be managed both to personal and communal benefit. The provenance of stress stemming from a lack of forgiveness both of ourselves and of others is explored. In relation to this, the ability to watch the flow of thoughts and consequently to make skillful judgments is examined as a way to relieve such causes of stress and thereby to contribute to well-being. The interrelationships between fallibility, mindfulness, loving-kindness, and forgiveness are discussed, highlighting the importance of objectivity toward thought, as well as benevolence toward oneself and others. Traditional Buddhist practices—of “asking for forgiveness” (khamati) as well as “invitation for feedback” (pavarana)—are assessed as significant methodologies that support stress relief and can inform more general applications for communal well-being. Lastly, the effects of behavior and the role of ethics in well-being are explored in the light of classical Buddhist guidelines in this area, as well as the role of the Five Precepts in being said to give “freedom from fear and oppression.”

Keywords

Forgiveness Mindfulness of thinking Self-criticism Criticism of others Stress Thoughts Skillful judgments Fallibility Mindfulness Loving-kindness Asking for forgiveness Invitation for feedback Ethics Five Precepts 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajahn Amaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Amaravati Buddhist MonasteryHemel HempsteadUK

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