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In a year of intense suffering, forgiveness may be the last thing on our minds. Some of us may be harboring resentment for family members, government leaders, or maybe the grocery store cashier who didn’t look like they were smiling under their mask this morning. But a new book encourages our capacity for reconciliation by retelling the stories of people who forgave under seemingly impossible circumstances.

In Inspiring Forgiveness: Poems, Quotations, and True Stories to Help with Forgiving Yourself and Others, author Barbara Bonner recounts stories about people who found in it themselves to forgive themselves and others when the stakes were exceedingly high. A mother forgives herself after her son commits a school shooting. Eva Kor forgives the doctors who performed medical experiments on her and her sister during the Holocaust. John Lewis forgives George Wallace. The loved ones of the Emanuel Nine forgive the killer and vow to move toward love.

In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s Editor and Publisher James Shaheen sits down with Barbara and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg to discuss these instances of forgiveness as well as the conditions we need to forgive, and to what extent Buddhists engage with the practice.

Committed to a life of Buddhist study and practice, Barbara Bonner has her own consulting practice supporting nonprofit leadership. She’s also the author of Inspiring Generosity and Inspiring Courage.

Tricycle Talks is a podcast series featuring leading voices in the contemporary Buddhist world. You can listen to more Tricycle Talks on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

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