Ajaan Lee


Don’t allow yourself to hate one another.

It’s only normal that when people live together, their behavior isn’t going to be on an equal level. Some people have good manners, some people have coarse manners — not evil, mind you, just that their manners are coarse. Physically, some people are energetic, industrious, and strong; others are weak and sickly. Verbally, some people are skilled at speaking, others are not. Some people talk a lot, some people hardly talk at all; some people like to talk about worldly things, some people like to talk about the Dhamma; some people speak wrong, some people speak right.

This is called inequality. When this is the case, there are bound to be conflicts and clashes, at least to some extent. When these things arise among us while we live together within the boundaries of the same Dhamma, we shouldn’t hold grudges. We should forgive one another and wash away that stain from our hearts.

Why? Because otherwise it turns into animosity and enmity. The act of forgiving is called the gift of forgiveness. It turns you into the sort of person who doesn’t hold onto things, doesn’t carry things around, doesn’t get caught up on things — the sort of person who doesn’t bear grudges.

Even when there are missteps or mistakes from time to time, we should forgive one another. We should have a sense of love, affection, and kindness for everyone around us, as much as we can. This is called anupaghato. It’s a part of our training as Buddhists, both for householders and for contemplatives.

This reflection by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo is from the Essay, Dhamma for Everyone.