Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama

I did Desmond and Mpho Tutu’s “Forgiveness Challenge”. At least I started it, but when I signed up, many years ago, I was still so contracted by anger that I knew it would be very difficult. But at least by signing up I put myself on a road. However, “forgiveness” is a very Christian idea and I am not a Christian.

Over the years (I don’t consider myself a Buddhist either) my Zen practice has matured and many things that were held in a fist of hurt have fallen by the roadside without much effort. I realize that whether we call the loosening of contention “forgiveness” or not, there is no freedom in hate and anger.

As human beings we can be lost and suffer and cause suffering. We can and will always see the rise of tyranny, selfishness, violence and contracted states, but at some point, we come to understand the road we are on and know we can’t pretend to not choose to continue it or to leave it.

There is a movie that will be free on Facebook on June 2nd made by Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama called “Unite for Joy” about their wonderful friendship.

4 thoughts on “Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama

  1. I don’t believe in forgiveness either, because it locks you in an either/or construct: either you are the villain who should seek forgiveness or you are the victim who must decide whether or not to offer forgiveness. Instead I try to deal in recognition — the both/and of recognizing as fully as I can the full spectrum of good/bad/weak/strong/kind/cruel in both myself and that other person.

    • it is a subtle difference between “forgiveness” and recognizing the impermanent in ourselves and others and accepting with an open mind and heart what we know and can’t know without blame and anger.

      • Hmm, I don’t think it’s all that subtle a difference! I think it more a sharp distinction between two very different modes of thinking/perceiving the world — but I quickly add, I totally agree with your comments about the dimensions of recognizing and accepting

  2. well, I suppose if you look at intent as opposed to result…sometimes human beings tell stories (like forgiveness being godlike) to punctuate the ending of something, like ending the difficulty to see what has changed and to meet each other anew. while I can see the limitations of a lot of stories, and I can even see, where they can cause a person problems again down the line, holding on to anger can only ever make things worse, even to the point of murder. plus many religious people may not have gone further yet, based on how their beliefs have help them and been useful to diffuse difficult situations. Sort of like how Newtonian physics are good enough to get you to moon and back, but if you need to go out into universe you need Einstein. Rejecting a useful story because it is delusional is ego. I don’t believe in god but I never reject an offer of someone who says they will pray for my health because they are offering to think of me when I am sick in a way they believe is beneficial and that is kindness on their part regardless of any crazy ideas! Ha. I hope my Mormon cousin doesn’t read this but I guess she’ll just have to pray harder!

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