Meritorious Meditation

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Meritorious Meditation

Postby SeerObserver » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:58 pm

As some basic tenets, Buddhists are to cease evil, do good, and purify the mind. In various discussions points are brought up that certain temperament is being cultivated, as well as how one is at the very least not out committing akusala kamma while practicing right meditation, and other things along those lines.

But how exactly is meditation kusala kamma? The cultivation of a right temperament seems to contribute to that, but I seek to raise my understanding of this concept. Some good points have been made before, but I seem to have lost grasp of them at the moment.

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:16 pm

Cool subject, Seer. In my tradition we're taught that meditating on emptiness generates merit :)
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby SeerObserver » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:53 pm

Drolma wrote:Cool subject, Seer. In my tradition we're taught that meditating on emptiness generates merit :)

Would you happen to know what the basis of that is? So far, I can still only see that meditation contributes to cessation of evil and purification of the mind. I still do not see how it contributes to kusala kamma in and of itself, only that it makes you of a better temperament so that you will then go on and do more meritorious acts.
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:59 pm

Would you happen to know what the basis of that is?


Hi Seer,
I'll investigate, it might take me a little time :)
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby puthujjana » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:22 pm

There is a sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv,392-95) about merit, which I can't find on AccessToInsight...

But there is an article by Bhikkhu Bodhi which summarizes it:

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:The Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv,392-95) records a fabulous alms-giving conducted by the Bodhisatta when he was born as a brahman named Velama. Lavish gifts of silver, gold, elephants, cows, carriages, etc., not to mention food, drink and clothing, were distributed among everybody who came forward to receive them. But this open-handed munificence was not very valuable as far as merit was concerned because there were no worthy recipients. It is said to be more meritorious to feed one person with right view, a stream-enterer (sotapanna), than to give great alms such as that given by Velama. It is more meritorious to feed one once-returner than a hundred stream-enterers. Next in order come non-returners, arahants, Paccekabuddhas and Sammasambuddhas. Feeding the Buddha and the Sangha is more meritorious than feeding the Buddha alone. It is even more meritorious to construct a monastery for the general use of the Sangha of the four quarters of all times. Taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha is better still. Abiding by the Five Precepts is even more valuable. But better still is the cultivation of metta, loving-kindness, and best of all, the insight into impermanence, which leads to Nibbana.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el367.html


with metta
:anjali:
"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."
- Ajahn Chah
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby SeerObserver » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:26 am

puthujjana wrote:There is a sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv,392-95) about merit, which I can't find on AccessToInsight...

But there is an article by Bhikkhu Bodhi which summarizes it:

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:The Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv,392-95) records a fabulous alms-giving conducted by the Bodhisatta when he was born as a brahman named Velama. Lavish gifts of silver, gold, elephants, cows, carriages, etc., not to mention food, drink and clothing, were distributed among everybody who came forward to receive them. But this open-handed munificence was not very valuable as far as merit was concerned because there were no worthy recipients. It is said to be more meritorious to feed one person with right view, a stream-enterer (sotapanna), than to give great alms such as that given by Velama. It is more meritorious to feed one once-returner than a hundred stream-enterers. Next in order come non-returners, arahants, Paccekabuddhas and Sammasambuddhas. Feeding the Buddha and the Sangha is more meritorious than feeding the Buddha alone. It is even more meritorious to construct a monastery for the general use of the Sangha of the four quarters of all times. Taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha is better still. Abiding by the Five Precepts is even more valuable. But better still is the cultivation of metta, loving-kindness, and best of all, the insight into impermanence, which leads to Nibbana.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el367.html


with metta
:anjali:

I'm still only making ties to what people have said with cessation of evil and purification of the mind. Both cause you to do meritorious things, no doubt. But I still haven't heard what I'm looking for...it'll turn up. I don't recall at the moment, but I saw a point made in a thread somewhere that may have actually been on another topic but someone really made a good point about how meditation is meritorious in and of itself.

I feel on the verge of recalling...If someone happened to mention just the right something or use the right word, it would trigger an instant recollection for me.
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby SeerObserver » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:23 pm

It's possible that I was mistaken. It may have just been that I've seen mention of cessation of evil (at the very least during the session) and purification of the mind. I do thank everyone for their replies.

While that may be the case, I am interested to hear Drolma's reply regarding meditation on emptiness being meritorious whenever it is ready.
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:46 pm

Sorry Seer, I got distracted :juggling:

I've heard this several times so I will find out the reasoning behind it.
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:24 pm

Greetings,

Metta (loving-kindness), karuna (compassion) and mudita are certainly all geared towards of kusala kamma. Because they also reduce the emphasis and focus of thoughts towards ourselves, they also assist in weakening the ego.

As for meditation on emptiness (or its components, anatta and anicca), I would say these are focused primarily on transcending the dominion of kamma and merit... and aiming straight at the heart of nibbana. Kusala kamma would be a secondary concern.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby SeerObserver » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:03 am

retrofuturist wrote:Metta (loving-kindness), karuna (compassion) and mudita are certainly all geared towards of kusala kamma. Because they also reduce the emphasis and focus of thoughts towards ourselves, they also assist in weakening the ego.

Right. That's a good association to make with the brahmaviharas. It's certainly important to tame the ego as you mention also. But are these meditations acts of kusala kamma in and of themselves, or just "geared towards it"? Or is that what you meant by geared towards?
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:07 am

Greetings SeerObserver,

SeerObserver wrote:But are these meditations acts of kusala kamma in and of themselves, or just "geared towards it"? Or is that what you meant by geared towards?


They are acts of kusala kamma in themselves, but I say "geared towards" because that's the primary benefit to be achieved, albeit not the only one.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby SeerObserver » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings SeerObserver,

SeerObserver wrote:But are these meditations acts of kusala kamma in and of themselves, or just "geared towards it"? Or is that what you meant by geared towards?


They are acts of kusala kamma in themselves, but I say "geared towards" because that's the primary benefit to be achieved, albeit not the only one.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Thanks, Retro. The brahmavihara meditation was not an angle I had considered when starting this thread.
Last edited by SeerObserver on Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:38 am

Greetings,

I just realised that my comment above is only true for non-arahants, who have yet to eradicate all vestiges of "self"... but I think you get the idea.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby puthujjana » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:26 am

Just another thought:

If you make the decision to meditate, you are doing it out of compassion and loving kindness for yourself. You see your own suffering and therefore you create compassion for yourself. The determination to meditate in order to overcome this suffering is loving kindness.

Besides, during meditation you are not doing akusala bodily (killing, stealing, sexual misconduct) or verbal actions (lying, slandering, rude speech, idle chatter).

:arrow: meditation is doing good and abstaining from evil deeds, which leads to the purification of the mind.

with metta
:anjali:
"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."
- Ajahn Chah
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Re: Meritorious Meditation

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:46 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Sorry Seer, I got distracted :juggling:

I've heard this several times so I will find out the reasoning behind it.


Hi Seer,

I asked someone very knowledgeable, and the answer I received doesn't make sense to me yet, so I don't know how to share it. It was from a very vajrayana pov involving rigpa [pure awareness].

Sorry, if I ever find a suitable answer I'll be sure to find you and tell you :anjali:
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