A passage from the I Ching can be taken as our “mirror” to reflect on the cultivation of morality – Scoundrels shift blame and snatch credit. Ordinary people cover up mistakes and flaunt their achievements. Superior persons decline acclaim and reward for their accomplishments. Those of surpassing virtue share the bitterness and blame from others’ errors.
Generally, people would like to shift shame, or even cover it up when something happens. They won’t honestly tell others about their mistakes. A lay person should confess mistakes, and review their behaviors to seek improvement, not to mention a Buddhist practitioner.
A practitioner who makes mistakes should disclose them and repent for them in an assembly. In this way, the karmic offenses can be cleared. Making use of the power of repentance before an assembly, one will not commit the offense again. The karma has a root that has to be exposed to sunlight. If the root is not exposed to sunlight, and only the branches and leaves are exposed, the tree will continue to grow in the same way. Thus we see that, among genuine Buddhist practitioners, repentance and disclosure of karmic offenses are emphasized.