Meditation + Talk: Exploring the Costs and Benefits of Anger and the Value of Forgiveness
May 4, 2024

Anger often serves as a powerful fuel for advocacy for a better world. Anger can also be a healthy part of our healing journeys after a harm or injustice. But there may come a time in our lives when anger no longer serves us personally or our work in the world. Our (even righteous) rage can burn out of control, sometimes scorching our friends, families, our co-workers, and ourselves. 

In this Wednesday weekly meditation and talk, guest teacher sujatha baliga explored:

  • Our personal relationship to forgiveness, or letting go of anger
  • The value of forgiveness in our own lives.
  • And we grapple with these questions:
    • When is my anger beneficial, and when does it harm me and others? 
    • What does it mean to forgive someone? To forgive myself? 
    • What might it feel like to ask for forgiveness? 
    • How might we continue to work against harm and oppression without anger as the motivating force? 

In the Q&A, sujatha shares some practical tools for examining anger’s value and drawbacks, and for cultivating forgiveness of ourselves and others.


Download the Audio of this Meditation


Download the Audio of this Talk

sujatha baliga is a long-time Buddhist practitioner and internationally recognized leader in the field of restorative justice. A former victim advocate and public defender, she’s spent the past 18 years helping communities across the nation implement restorative justice alternatives to youth incarceration. sujatha’s restorative justice work is inspired by the personal advice she received when she was 24 years old from His Holiness the Dalai Lama about becoming a public survivor and about the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts. Today, she’s dedicated to finding restorative justice responses to intimate partner violence and sexual abuse. She’s a lay member of the Gyuto Foundation, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Richmond, CA, where she leads secular meditation on Monday nights. sujatha has been named Soros Justice Fellow, an inaugural Just Beginnings Fellow, and is currently a MacArthur Fellow. She is working on her first book.

sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and has held two federal district court clerkships. sujatha’s personal and research interests include the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, restorative justice’s potential impact on racial disparities in our legal systems, and Buddhist notions of conflict transformation. She makes her home in the East Bay, CA, with her life-partner of 26 years, their 17-year-old child, and their sweet, sweet dog.

sujatha’s been studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism since 1996. Her teachers include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Chöden Rinpoche, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa, Geshe Thubten Sherab, Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, Geshe Kunchok Tenzin, S.N. Goenka, and. Ven. Antonio Satta.

These teachings are offered freely, at no charge. 

And if you like, you may wish to participate in the age-old tradition of generosity through making an offering yourself – called “dāna” – to support Rick and the Wednesday Meditations. Generosity itself is a beautiful practice that opens and gladdens the heart, relaxes the contraction of “self,” and ripples out into the world to touch many people – and perhaps, eventually, even oneself. 

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