Maybe it’s my vestigial Catholicism but the theme of forgiveness and repentance is something I turn to time and again. This despite the fact that the Lord Buddha eschewed the idea of repentance altogether. In fact, other than making a determination not to repeat one’s transgressions again I have found nothing in the Pali Canon to support the idea of repentance practices like those developed in later traditions.
And yet, when I practice in the face of our misdeeds, the Lord Buddha’s advice comes alive and is much more than the cold comfort it first appears. After having done anything akusala I found myself immediately reluctant to practice; as if shining the light of awareness would be too painful to bear. But, once I begin I quickly realize the error of my ways.
The Lord Buddha said that the best homage we can pay him is to practice and the merit we can far surpasses even the most extravagant offerings. May we all make a habit of practicing as an offering to the Buddha and so that it outweighs the akusala kamma in our minds stream.