Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.
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Jesse
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Location: Virginia, USA

Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by Jesse »

I had an idea. Sort of an experiment. I often go out of my way to save insects (I know I've killed more than I can ever save.)
I would like to build a list of meritorious actions that will help others, and would like group participation.
If possible we can sticky this post, and once an action is complete we can simply make a post of 'Done Action for Today'.

I will list some things I myself would like to do.. but others may add more and I will add them to the main post (Or perhaps a moderator could do it for me.

The entire point of this is that, we have a large community and if even a few of us partake in these actions, we can never be sure how far the actions will reach! (Causation is not a simple thing, no? One kind action can potentially cause further kind actions, and so on.)

Well, I hope there is some interest in this idea. I will try my best not to slack off on it. Hope others will join me.

Here is my list:
  • Pay for a meal for the person behind you at a drive-through restaurant
  • Save a bug from your house
  • Sincerely Compliment a random person
  • Give someone you know is going through a rough time a hug
  • Help out people on depression websites (There are many, where you can offer advice, or just talk to them.)
  • Pick up trash while walking.
  • Perform Tonglen
  • Be extra kind to your family/friends.
  • Call an old friend and see how they are doing
  • Make a donation to a watt/temple/church, etc.
  • Donate Clothes/Food, etc to people in need.
  • Buy a homeless person lunch.
  • Leave Pennies right side up where people will find them. (maybe this is an American thing??)
  • Donate Dharma Books to places where people would be receptive to them.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau
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LastLegend
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by LastLegend »

Good idea.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
Jesse
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Location: Virginia, USA

Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by Jesse »

Glad I got one person! I will make my first effort tomorrow! :) Today is a very bleh day, trying to cheer myself up as we speak! :group:
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau
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adya
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by adya »

Hey Jesse,

Another way to build merit is through Care2.com. It's a social action network that allows users to support non-profit agencies worldwide through petitions and a free click-to-donate system. Issues range from human rights, animal welfare, to protecting the environment:

http://www.care2.com/
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Arthur O'Shaughnessy

http://www.care2.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/adya1974
https://www.youtube.com/user/crystalkaleidoscope
muni
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by muni »

Keeping some coins in a pocket for beggars.
Offer a hand when an older person or someone who can need help, comes off/on the train.
Offer to bear the luggage on steps.
Respectful thank for all given kindness.
Answer a smile, mutual joy.
Comfort a sick one and give courage, all is passing.

Putting snails travelling on the road aside in the direction they move, away from cars.
Putting fallen nuts at the side, away from cars, they can be collected not being crushed.
Feed birds outside; break nuts for them, hang fat seed bolls, crumbs.
Keep an eye on animals they cannot talk when they suffer.
Take insects with a plastic transparent pot and a flat hard paper, put the pot over it and slowly bring hard paper in between surface and pot, put it out in fallen leaves or so to find some shelter. (same as save bug)
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
muni
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by muni »

Possible I do not understand the meaning here, as I read now again and thought it is about sharing and inspiring. Sorry.

I think it is wise selfishness like H H Dalai Lama said: if you want to be selfish, do it good (taking care of all in possible way brings joy-merit)
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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Redfaery
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by Redfaery »

Well, catching and releasing bugs is a very simple way. I just caught and released a cricket that one of my cats was intent on "playing" with - she doesn't really know how to hunt; she thinks bugs are crunchy toys.

Also, being kind to service workers is good. Thank them when they help you, smile when they smile, and return their eye contact. You'd be amazed how many people just ignore store clerks and whatnot, and it does bother them.
NAMO SARASWATI DEVI
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - GANDHI
I am a delicate feminine flower!!!!
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Jechan
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by Jechan »

To treat everyone you meet as you would a Buddha or Bodhisattva, because they are all certain to attain Buddhahood.
This is an example of the simple and righteous act of the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging as depicted in chapter 20 of The Lotus Sutra. This Bodhisattva did not utilize any complicated merit transference ceremonies or the like, he simple went about bowing to everyone he saw telling them that they are all certain to become Buddhas.
Simple is Best :bow:
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
南無妙法蓮華経
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Ayu
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by Ayu »

Tonglen.
Prostrations.
Being friendly to five people.
Did not answer to a troll.

Dedicate the merrits to the well-being of all sentient beings. :heart:
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
shaunc
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by shaunc »

I've just got out of surgery last night & was discharged from the hospital today. My wife & kids are all being really good to me. I'm trying to show my gratitude & not be cranky. It shouldn't be hard for me but it is because I'm in pain & coming down off drugs at the same time. On the weekend I sprayed all my vegetables with chilli & garlic hoping that I wouldn't have the problem of killing them later.
SeekerNo1000003
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by SeekerNo1000003 »

Guys, since so many of are talking about releasing insects and helping animals, why not make these actions even better. We could use some of Lama Zopa's advice:
http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect ... &chid=1389" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The suggestions in brief include:
- reciting Lam Rim prayers to our pets
- circumambulating animals (including insects) around holy objects
- blessing water by chanting mantras & sprinkling it on animals etc...

I've been reciting Lam Rim prayer to my dog for years...& recited Medicine Buddha Prayer as she was passing away. I'm not sure exactly what effect these activities had on my pet. But...she passed away so peacefully and consciously. I was so happy that night...I believe she received a good rebirth & maybe this is in part thanks to Lama Zopa.

Also I've been releasing insects for years, even the ones I was really scared of. And you know? I stopped being afraid of them. Also, not sure if this is relevant, but the insects just stopped showing up. That's quite weird...normally we would have tons of these. Going off topic a bit, but wanted to share this :)
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Vajrasvapna
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Re: Merit Building -- Weekly/Daily Meritorious Actions

Post by Vajrasvapna »

FOUR: “Moreover, Subhuti, when bodhisattvas give a gift, they should not be attached to a thing.
When they give a gift, they should not be attached to anything at all. They should not be attached to a
sight when they give a gift. Nor should they be attached to a sound, a smell, a taste, a touch, or a
dharma when they give a gift. Thus, Subhuti, fearless bodhisattvas should give a gift without being
attached to the perception of an object. And why? Subhuti, the body of merit of those bodhisattvas
who give a gift without being attached is not easy to measure. What do you think, Subhuti, is the space
to the east easy to measure?”
Subhuti replied, “No, it is not, Bhagavan.”
The Buddha said, “Likewise, is the space to the south, to the west, to the north, in between, above,
below, or in any of the ten directions easy to measure?”
Subhuti replied, “No, it is not, Bhagavan.”
The Buddha said, “So it is, Subhuti. The body of merit of those bodhisattvas who give a gift
without being attached is not easy to measure. Thus, Subhuti, those who set forth on the bodhisattva
path should give a gift without being attached to the perception of an object.”
The Diamond Sutra by Red Pine
"People these days use whatever little dharma they know to augment afflictive emotion, and then engender tremendous pride and conceit over it. They teach the Dharma without taming their own minds. But as with a river rock , not even a hair’s tip of benefit penetrates the other people. Even worse, incorrigible people [are attracted] to this dharma that increases conflict. When individuals who could be tamed by the Dharma encounter such incorrigible, their desire for the sacred Dharma is lost. It is not the fault of the Dharma; it is the fault of individuals." Machik Labdron prophecy.
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