Forgiveness: The Only Path To Inner And Outer Peace, According To The Dalai Lama
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – the Dalai Lama
Life is such that we don’t often get treated the way we treat others.
Naturally, this means that we must sometimes seek closure by ourselves, and forgiveness is how we reach a state of peace, regardless of whether the other side is willing to give it to us.
In order to achieve inner peace, we must learn how to feel free by ourselves. It isn’t the task of people to make us feel at peace because if we become too dependant on others, we will face far more disappointments than necessary.
Our lives are filled with relationships. This is an inseparable part of being human. We have a deep need to connect with others. Relationships can last weeks, months, years, and even, as we say, till death do us part.
Mentally and emotionally we humans are all the same. We can all feel anger and hatred, but also have the potential to cultivate compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. Since these constructive emotions are supported by reason, we can use our brains to develop and strengthen them.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) August 5, 2019
We also don’t know when conflict will shake our relationships, or how, and whether it will be solved.
When it comes to the uncertainty of life and relationships, the Dalai Lama can offer us great advice. As the spiritual and political leader of Tibetans, he has been facing extreme conflict his whole life.
His people were invaded by the Chinese communist regime in 1959, and ever since, they have held sovereignty over its people and their spiritual and cultural practices.
The invasion was merciless – and Alexander Solzhenitsyn even described China’s rule over Tibet as “more brutal and inhuman than any other communist regime in the world.” The communist regime systematically dismantled the most precious monasteries of Tibet and destroyed the most sacred texts and historical documents as well.
But even though times were dark, the Dalai Lama kept his positive outlook on the world and has kept a balanced relationship with China – even after he was forced to flee Tibet. He was also awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in the 80s.
The living conditions in today’s Tibet are said to be “dismal”.
"We all appreciate in others the inner qualities of kindness, patience, tolerance, forgiveness and generosity." @DalaiLama
— Dalai Lama Quotes and Wisdom (@DalaiDailyQ) July 17, 2021
The Dalai Lama has lived his life in the service of his people, doing all that he can to maintain peaceful relations with the Chinese and regain sovereignty for Tibet.
A solid solution, however, has not yet presented itself.
Nevertheless, he teaches that despite how people treat us, we must always be kind. The Dalai Lama still sees the Chinese as family, and he regularly forgives them without hesitation.
Kindness is the most key part of forgiveness and the Dalai Lama says that we forgive because we want to let go of the anger inside us. We must remain calm and composed in times of despair.
In his book, The Wisdom of Forgiveness, he famously wrote the following:
“As soon as I wake up…my first thoughts: Buddha and his teaching of compassion, teaching of Interdependence.”
Religion is about cultivating a more peaceful mind, so it’s disappointing if it becomes a source of conflict. Our traditions share a common message of love and compassion, patience and tolerance. If we also remember the advice about forgiveness, there’ll be no basis for conflict.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) September 13, 2019
Is it possible for us all to reach this peaceful state?
Regardless of how we’re being treated, wouldn’t it be immensely freeing to have our thoughts be about trying to hold love instead of hate?
We shouldn’t abandon the ways of the light just because something did not go the way we hoped.
When describing his relationship with the people of China, the Dalai Lama says:
“But if you look at the world today, what is the solution to conflict? Will violence…be the solution to conflict? No…the path of peace is realistic.”
The only way to inner and outer peace is to practice forgiveness. After all, we would all rather live in a compassionate world than one filled with anger, resentment, and vengeance.
“If I develop bad feelings toward those who make me suffer, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, my mind becomes calm,” the Dalai Lama says.
We can’t remove external problems at will, but in terms of our inner world we can develop tolerance, forgiveness and contentment. If we have developed peace of mind, we can remain calm no matter what happens in the outside world.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) August 14, 2020
This is the only way forward for humanity. To embrace universal love, we must first learn to forgive. It is the only path toward true peace.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful. Let us know your thoughts on the topic by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve enjoyed the read.