I'm not really a traditional Buddhist. I didn't even really call myself a Buddhist until about a year ago, even though I've been mediating a long time and an active participant (even board member, eek!) in a Sangha for a number of years. I don't really believe in the six realms, although I do believe each of us finds ourself in each of these realms at different points in our life. Right now, I'm definitely human with all the flaws that implies. I also believe in the four noble truths and the eight fold path.
There is suffering (dukkha).
There is a cause of suffering (craving).
There is the cessation of suffering (nirvana).
There is the eightfold path leading to the cessation of suffering.
Somehow, I don't really know exactly when, I've gone astray from the 8-fold path. Whether it was in terms of right speech or right action I’m not quite clear. When I realized some corrective action was necessary, I did try to do the right thing, did try to be of help, but there are some things I have no control over. I should have realized that and stopped. In terms of the effect, I put myself and others in harms way, and for that I am genuinely sorry. Although I’ve forgiven the folks involved who have done me a disservice, I didn’t really realize that by straying from the eight-fold path, I essentially allowed them, maybe even gave them permission. It is unfortunate that my wrong speech and wrong action also affected the lives of others I care about deeply and admire tremendously.
Although I'm still working with my first koan, I recently came across a koan on the web where I think the main point was that the conditions and circumstances really don't matter. What matters, is what we do from here. I still don’t know what I am going to do with my life now. None of my existing options really feels right.
But this much I know:
All evil actions committed by me since time immemorial, stemming from greed, anger, and ignorance, arising from body, speech and mind, I now repent having committed.It’s the best I can do from here.