The world of Tzu Chi Nov-Dec 2022 (Vol.144)

2022 • 12 48 I t is a virtue to forgive others, but if we start to make excuses for ourselves, it diminishes our virtue. In life, people are quick to come up with many excuses for themselves while harshly criticizing others. The Lotus Sutra states, “Wherever the rain falls, all are nourished.” Regardless of whether they are big trees or small shrubs, all vegetation of this world only receives nourishment according to their capacities to take in the water. No matter how good principles may be, those who lack the appropriate capacities will not be able to receive those teachings in their full context. There was once a monastic named Pan Gui who taught the Buddha’s principles, and he constantly led his disciples in spiritual practice. Once, when he held a seven-day retreat, some visitors attended in addition to the resident monastics. They all hoped to attain realizations during the meditation retreat, so everyone practised diligently. During the retreat, one of the practitioners lost something, and it was discovered that aster Cheng Yen Tells Stories Forgiving the Unforgivable one of Pan Gui’s disciples had stolen it. The monastics refused to forgive this person who had stolen because they were worried that the outside visitors would view the monastery negatively. Someone suggested that the thief be banished, but the venerable master did not take immediate action. Although he understood the situation, the disciple who stole was not punished. Later, during another Dharma retreat, another visitor lost something. Eventually it was found that the same disciple had stolen again, as he had not corrected his habitual tendency. This time, both the monastics and the visitors took their angry protests to the venerable master, hoping that he would take the matter seriously and banish this disciple. However, the monk once again put aside their complaint and did nothing. Later on, one of the resident monastics lost something, and once again it was found to be stolen by the same person. By that time, everyone had lost their patience, so they told their teacher that if he did not banish We must forgive those who cannot be forgiven and love those who cannot be loved. Those who cannot be loved by others live in great suffering, and those who cannot receive forgiveness live in great misery. If we indulge ourselves and lose sight of our intrinsic nature, then we cannot exercise our compassionate love.