Reading Inconceivable Emancipation, chapter 4, based on this talk, seemed to be saying that focusing on remorse isn't so much helpful and that's where the Christians get it wrong (psychologically, though of course, you must judge for yourself).
What Bhante seems to be saying to me is that you really need to ask why you've lost the inspiration in your spiritual life, such that you made such a mistake. As though inspiration in the spiritual life is what keeps you from making ethical errors. And that while the ethical errors hurt someone else, you're really hurting your own practice, which is what keeps one out of the negative place that creates errors. So when you make an ethical mistake, the most important question is: How can I renew my inspiration? (And for me, how can I move away from the negative self attack and self loathing?)
So I'm reflecting on that today, letting it simmer, percolate. Please feel free to put your answers in the comments section.
My first thought it to go on retreat. That is good use of the retreat as triage for life.
I think applying the mindfulness spotlight to problem areas helps one to define the problem, and observe for potential solutions.
It's a good practice question: what inspires me? I like to be positively challenged to grow.
I get positively challenged by the readings of Bhante, talks, friendships, meditation, sangha gatherings.
I'm inspired by the positivity of the spiritual life. I recently realized that I am a bit demoralized by crime and that's why I'm not really into the mystery genera. No matter how interesting the trappings around a crime, that is the spark of a mystery.
I'm inspired by action, and not just being the hot house flower I can be. The liberation movement of the dalits in India. Sanghas flourishing throughout the world. Good works, innovative programs, and festivals I hope to connect with in the future.
And then I suppose a solution is to look at what's demoralizing me, and dampening inspiration or blocking it. What am I doing to block inspiration? There's plenty there, which I won't go into now.
A major problem for me is how I can work for the good of the Dharma. I just don't see that clearly. I yearn to put my shoulder to the wheel of the movement, but my actions say otherwise. What is holding me back? Like always I'll just have to live the questions.
May you be happy, may you be well!