Come away from your mistakes neither uncaring nor overwhelmed by guilt, but determined to do better in the future.
How often have you sighed:
"Why did I say that? How could I have acted so callously? If only I hadn't! "
Guilty thoughts can haunt us for the rest of our life, sneaking up on us, unwanted and unexpectedly. We just don't seem able to let go of painful memories of the harm we inflicted.
But we need to. If not for our own sake, then for the well-being of others.
Being guilt-stricken over personal idiocies doesn't make us better people. Think you're repaying a karmic debt? Who are you repaying it to? Who is benefiting from your guilt?
Somehow, someway, we need to release our guilty feelings.
It's not that we no longer care about what we did. We do. But of greater concern is what we do from now on.
The best thing we can do is get to the Pure Land because from there, finally, we will be able to find and help all those we harmed. So much better than drowning in guilt.
— Our Daily Practice, Venerable Wuling