As a result of accumulating merit, (see last week’s quote), because you have learned to block out hope and fear, you have developed a sense of gentleness and sanity. Having done so, the basic idea of laying down evil actions is psychological: you look back and you say, “Good heavens! I have been so stupid, and I didn’t even realize it!” Such an attitude develops because you have already, at least somewhat, reached a level of sophistication. When you look back, you begin to see how sloppy and how embarrassing you have been. You didn’t notice it before because of stupidity of some kind. So the point is to look back and realize what you have been doing and not make the same mistake all over again.
From “Transformation of Bad Circumstances,” in Taming the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness, page 93.