https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.p ... 83#p547183
I just wanted to add to this discussion that the beauty of Mahayana buddhism is that there is always a chance to repent and reform. In one Buddhist monk's lecture, I recall, the compassionate Bodhisattvas do devise means for which beings who are truly repentant and regretful of their past actions, are allowed a second chance. This second chance comes in the form of sincere repentance from a particular method in a sutra, and if done in the utmost sincerity, can wipe out eons of bad karma. But that doesn't mean you can perpetuate your past bad behaviour! I think that would mean weightier karma which would be even harder to get rid of, since being sincerely regretful and wanting to start a new slate is a very rare and precious attitude that may not arise again in the future, depending on how deep your roots of virtue are.
Master Zhiyi has said that there are essentially three types of Buddhists (according to the Tranquility and Insight translation- you can find the link here: https://ia801707.us.archive.org/34/item ... nsight.pdf ) whose evidence is taken from The Sutra Spoken By the Buddha on the Names of the Buddhas. It says: "In the Buddha Dharma, there are two kinds of brave individuals: one who does no misconduct, and one who does but repents it at once." So please understand that there is still hope for you, as long as you do your repentance properly.
In general, there are several stages to repentance, as detailed in the Sixth Patriarch Platform Sutra, which has been explained extensively by Master Hsuan Hua and translated into English (the exact passage you can find here: http://www.cttbusa.org/6patriarch/6patriarch12.asp.html ). If you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend you read through and study it thoroughly, especially when you have such deep roots of virtue and resonance with buddhism. To repent is brave, and to own up to your mistakes is not an easy to do at all! The Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng was particularly renowned for his clear instructions and straightforward explanations, that you may not be able to find anywhere else. He was enlightened even before he was ordained, without the guidance of a master, and he had been prophesied by great Dharma masters before his birth, to liberate as many sentient beings as there were trees in a forest. Master Hsuan Hua has explained the mental process for true markless repentance, which you will find in the link I've provided for you. The key is to embody this attitude (it's not easy I know!) in your mind, body and speech.
I've just outlined the fundamentals of repentance, from what I've gathered in my research... I just wanted to recommend a couple more methods by which you can repent and thus hopefully direct you as to how you can annihilate your karmic wrong-doings in the past.
The Great Compassionate Mantra is one of the more popular ways of repentance. (You can find the link to the text here: http://www.buddhism.org/Sutras/2/Sutras17.htm) Afterall, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara mentioned that:
This last paragraph especially applies to your situation, I think. But take special note that you must chant the Great Compassionate Mantra with sincerity and the utmost faith, which can be hard in the final age. Master Hsuan Hua recommended his disciples to chant this mantra 108 times a day for 1000 days, and that to expect all diseases within the body to be healed. I would recommend you to do the same, since the manifestation of diseases is because of karmic obstacles and of past karmic wrong-doings. Once you have received auspicious signs (i.e. dreaming of buddhas and bodhisattvas) then it indicates your bad karma has been annihilated, but take note that it is ONLY if you've received them.Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva continued to say to the Buddha: "Bhagavan, Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion fall into the three evil paths, I vow not to achieved the Correct-Awakening.
Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion not be reborn in any Buddha-World, I vow not to achieve the Correct-Awakening.
Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion not obtain unlimited Samadhis and eloquence, I vow not to achieve the Correct-Awakening.
Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion not obtain whatever he seeks in his present life, then it cannot be called the Dharani of the Great Compassionate Heart, unless it is used by those who are not virtuous or not completely sincere.
If a woman dislikes her female body and wishes to become a male, if she recites the phrases of the Great Compassion Dharani but can not change from a female to a male, I vow not to achieve the Correct-Awakening. However, if she arouses even a slightest doubt, her wish will not be satisfied.
If any living being usurps the drinks, foods, or possessions of Sanghas (group of monks), even though one thousand Buddhas appear in the world, he will not get to repent and reform. Even if he repents, his sins will not be eliminated. But now, by reciting this Great Compassion holy mantra, his sins will be eliminated. If anyone usurps, eats, or uses the drinks, foods, or possessions of Sanghas, he must repent to teachers of the ten directions to eliminate his sins. Now, when he reties this Great Compassion Dharani, the teachers of the ten directions will come to bear witness, and then all his weighty sins and hindrances will be eliminated.
All evil karma and weighty sins such as the ten evil deeds, the five rebellious sins, slandering people, slandering the Dharmas, breaking the Abstinent-precepts (*), breaking other precepts, destroying stupas (holy towers), wrecking temples, stealing properties of Sanghas, and profaning Brahma (pure) practices, can be completely eliminated (by reciting this Dharani), except this: if one has doubts about this Dharani, then even his small sins and light karma cannot be eliminated, not to mention the weighty sins. Although the weighty sins do not disappear immediately, the reciting can still be the cause of Bodhi in the future."
There is also the Mahacundhi Dharani repentance. The sutra it comes from can be found in this link:
https://sites.google.com/site/sacrament ... rani-sutra.
There are basically 2 different versions of it from 2 different chinese translators (both monks), which I am not quite sure why that is the case. However, it is especially recommended for lay people who don't necessarily keep the precept of celibacy. I think in your case you would need to chant up to 700, 000 times.
Also if you can, try to find if there are any temples near you conducting repentance ceremonies. It would be an excellent idea to attend these too:)
Thanks for staying with me for so long! Of course, if you know of a dharma master, please consult with him or her. This advice is meant for a guideline and no way indicative of what you must practise to repent. This has just been some of my own research. I hope this helps and good luck!