no creed written
for a faith in light
but canine howls
at night, no scripture
votive candles, bowing
kneeling, let us pray
there is no light
but light, and mournful
canine howls at night
“Why do we need to purify? Because our mind is full of rubbish. Have you noticed that your mind is full of all sorts of illogical thoughts, disturbing emotions, and obsessions? These afflictions are not the nature of the mind. They are like clouds covering the clear sky. They are temporary and can be removed. It is to our advantage to remove them. Why? We want to be happy and peaceful and to be free from suffering, and we want others to be so as well.”
—Ven. Thubten Chodron
Catholics and Buddhists both see the value and import of confession practice. What ever purification ritual you may adopt, consider carefully what you are doing and what you intend to accomplish.
Purification practice begins with recognizing our own past unskilled (un-virtuous) actions. We cannot confess what we have failed to recognize. Expose the faults first.
Once exposed, our faults must be owned. Don’t be casual or lazy and think going to confession once in a while will clean up your bad acts and reset the meter. Care must be taken if you think you can continue to thrash around without concern for consequences. Buddhist practice doubles down on the confessional very seriously and many times over. It is practiced daily, better yet hourly. Better make it by the minute, in fact.
A sense of regret seals the act of confession. We have not gotten away with anything.
Then we seal the seal with a commitment to avoiding non-virtuous acts in the future, and all with a sense that through the interdependent nature of all beings we do so to benefit everyone.