Because of their limitless compassion the Buddhas and Ancestors have flung
wide the gates of compassion to both gods and men and, although karmic consequence
for evil acts is inevitable at some time during the three periods, contrition
makes it easier to bear by bringing freedom and immaculacy: as this is so, let
us be utterly contrite before the Buddhas. Contrition before the Buddhas brings
purification and salvation, true conviction and earnest endeavor; once aroused,
true conviction changes all beings, in addition to ourselves, with benefits
extending to everything including that which is animate and inanimate. Here
is the way in which to make an act of perfect contrition.
"May all the Buddhas and Ancestors, who have become Enlightened, have compassion upon us, free us from the obstacle of suffering which we have inherited from our past existence and lead us in such a way that we may share the merit that fills the universe, for they in the past, were as we are now, and we will be as they in the future. All the evil committed by me is caused by beginningless greed, hate and delusion: all the evil is committed by my body, in my speech and in my thoughts: I now confess everything wholeheartedly."
By this act of recognition of our past behavior, and our contrition therefor, we open the way for the Buddhas and Ancestors to help us naturally. Bearing this in mind, we should sit up straight in the presence of the Buddha and repeat the above act of contrition, thereby cutting the roots of our evil-doing.