Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Meritorious Activities - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 2051 times)

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Meritorious Activities

People with good hearts enjoy doing meritorious acts, regardless of their belief in Buddhism. For instance, they like to burn incense and prostrate in front of the deities at temples, present fresh flowers and fruits in the shrine room, donate funds to monasteries, offer to eminent monks, build “Hope Elementary Schools”, collect goods for poor mountain villagers, and so on.

Those who have committed non-virtues will also do some good deeds, in order to feel less conscience-stricken and perhaps to make up for their misdeeds.

The eve of Chinese Lunar New is usually a time when folks pack local temples to offer incense and prostrations. Police and fire trucks have their watchful eyes on possible fire alarms and overcrowded conditions. People come in a continuous stream and many have to wait in long lines over several blocks. Even the skyrocketing admission fees do not discourage the arriving throngs.

Rejoicing in this, I recall a passage from Mahaparinirvana Sutra: “The merit of offering to all the Buddhas in one’s life seven precious substances, beds, and food is great. However, it can’t be compared with the immeasurable merit of generating bodhichitta for all beings just for an instant. ” Of all the virtues, the one having the greatest merit is arousing bodhichitta. To generate bodhichitta of intention even just momentarily is great virtue. The benefits of generating bodhichitta of application are even innumerable.

The Sutra of the Maiden Excellent Moon says: “If the merit of hoping to help others knows no bounds, what need is there to speak of the actual deeds of helping others?”

Therefore, a practitioner should not seek only superficial semblance of merit. Instead, cultivate the supreme bodhichitta. Doing it even just once a day, in bed when settling down, a boundless store of merit is amassed.

2nd of February, Year of RenWu
March 16, 2002


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