Merits

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Merits

Postby nem » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:24 am

Friends in the dhamma,

Will you please explain to me, your understanding of the concept how a being can accrue merits or give merits to other beings?
I am confused about this aspect, because of anatta. I am without the ability to see how there is a self, to accrue merits. If we believe what the Buddha said about anatta, then what is there, which has attained these merits, and how to transfer those? I ask the question, because I am being taught that my my good deeds, I am gaining merits, and can give those to others, especially departed relatives. But, where is this self to gain merits? It seems, I am a bunch of meat and a bunch of thoughts, is what I am. I don't see how a mass of meat and wild thoughts, can gain merits or give merits.

Please share your insights into this idea of owning merits and giving merits to other beings

metta

nem
Last edited by nem on Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Merits

Postby fivebells » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:28 am

As long as you still have a concept of self, that is the self to which the merit will accrue.
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Re: Merits

Postby nem » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:33 am

fivebells wrote:As long as you still have a concept of self, that is the self to which the merit will accrue.


Thank you for such a concise response. Obviously there is a lot of deluson of a self in the author of this post..otherwise "I" would not feel the need to be on Dhammawheel. :) !!!!
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Re: Merits

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:10 am

When there's an earthquake in Indonesia how does the energy get transferred to Sri Lanka when none of the water in Indonesia travels more than a few metres up and down at the time of the earthquake?
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Re: Merits

Postby SarathW » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:39 am

fivebells wrote:As long as you still have a concept of self, that is the self to which the merit will accrue.


As far as I know your reply is incorrect.
I agree that the continuation of life (Samsara) is the result of ignorance and not knowing Anatta.
So what is there is not the self but the ignorance.
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Re: Merits

Postby Sanjay PS » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:00 am

Just as curds , butter , come from milk , dependent on the quality of the milk , similarly our merits , demerits give rise to various kinds of changing experiences , which we conventionally call as a self .

When we share our experiences of peace , harmony and good will, they overflow ( depending upon how deep the metta bhavana is ) saturating the environment and can reach across the many lower and upper planes of living . Its like a radio frequency that is instantly transmitted and received .

sanjay
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Re: Merits

Postby fivebells » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:26 pm

SarathW, in the here and now, practicing pragmatically with what arises in experience, what I said is a correct and fruitful approach to merit. It is inherent in the Buddha's advice to dwell in recollections of one's own virtue and generosity in the Mahanama sutta, and I know it to be fruitful from my own practice. Good kamma gives a repertoire of good recollections, which help to gladden and stabilize the mind in the midst of disturbance.
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Re: Merits

Postby SarathW » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:56 am

Hi Fivebells
I respect your opinion.
However I assume that you are a Buddhist and your ultimate objective is to attain Nirvana.
Understanding Anatta (not self) is very important.
Merits are enjoyed by the Citta but not by the self. (They all fabrications)
:)
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