Knowledge and Practice
Knowledge is not practice. Mere knowledge is useless. Books can offer knowledge but cannot practice for the reader. There are many who are literate, who have gathered much useful knowledge on the practice of Dhamma but very few uses, such knowledge to one's advantage. In the midst of majority of such people in the world, chances are slim to foster good, righteous mind.
For example, many deeds of Dana are performed nowadays not with view of accumulate parami merits but to keep in line with social trend of showing off, vaunting their success and wealth for all to see; people no longer follow the path of parami laid down by noble, virtuous ones. The social climbers, in deed, know their Dana will bear no good fruit or very little, but because of their strong craving for popular acclamation, social acceptance and recognition, they sink to the level of doing deeds that the ignorant people do even though they know they should not.
whynotme wrote: throw away waste food for worms still have merit
So to speak the truth, IMO, even when showing off, there is merit for the one giving.
Secondly, there are many ways to express something in a pleasant way to householders to understand.
E.g when the Buddha taught lay people, he always began with teaching about merit, about devas, about happy lives because of merit, and then when their mind were ready he taught about suffering, not that he jumped straight to those things when others were not ready.
I think normal people like praising, so let assume that if he ask me, at first I will praise his deeds, that let his mind has joy and happiness, then I will teach him that his deeds will bring much more merit if he did it with other intentions like many of the suttas teach about merit.. When people are happy, they mind are easily concentrated to accept right things and give up wrong things. Even something is right but saying that make people feel angry or unhappy, IMO, it is not a good strategy to save them.
bodom wrote:Merit making is a wholesome desire to do good (chanda in pali), chanda also being one of the four bases of success. The Buddha encouraged the cultivation of good deeds or merit making.
kirk5a wrote:However, I can become aware of the effect of my own actions on my own state of mind. Good actions, good results - "visible here and now."
Hanzze wrote:Can you bring a sample.
DAWN wrote:PS there is a level when you must let go subjectiv metta (doing merit), and dwell in absolute metta, wise metta, without good or bad, without judging, without correcting, but let dhammas be what they are - this is a absolute merit action, absolute metta, wise like a mirrow.
Ben wrote:Yes, intention is key. However, its my contention that even if one is mainly motivated by greed for future rewards, then the act of giving itself must contain some moments of genuine selfless generosity for that individual to give at all.
kirk5a wrote:DAWN wrote:PS there is a level when you must let go subjectiv metta (doing merit), and dwell in absolute metta, wise metta, without good or bad, without judging, without correcting, but let dhammas be what they are - this is a absolute merit action, absolute metta, wise like a mirrow.
Why take the stairs when you can fly to the rooftop, is that your view?
Dan74 wrote:I guess Bodhidharma was urging the emperor to see beyond his notions of accumulating merit. To see the conditioned nature of good karma and bad karma. Emptiness.
It is not a denial of merit-making. Indeed Chinese Buddhism is very big on making merit. Form is emptiness, but emptiness is also form. So seeing into the conditioned nature does not mean such acts are pointless. It is grasping after merit that is pointless, not merit-making itself, though its fruit are conditioned and ultimately unsatisfactory.
There are many versions of this story. Some that differentiate the good karma and true merit (which is more akin to insight and liberation). I guess in Zen the key teaching is a sweeping away of the attachment to the worldly, even when the worldly is acts of great merit like supporting the Dharma.
"What is the highest meaning of the holy Dharma?' asks the Emperor.
"Vast emptiness, nothing holy," came Bodhidharma's reply.
The emperor was very learned and renowned for his good deeds. He was adept in the worldly Dharma. Perhaps he was ripe for the rug to be pulled from under his feet? This is the shocking tactic of the Zen school - whatever is the most immediate attachment, that is snatched away. For one who is not yet proficient in the worldly, you don't snatch the worldly. But for one who has mastered the worldly and pitches his tent there, he/she is urged to keep going. Sometimes setting that tent on fire is the only way to make someone move...
DAWN wrote:"There is a level" mean that there is a stair.
That is concern metta, it's must be develop at maximum before start to develop direct comprehention of anicca, dukkha and anatta.
If we dont have a base of metta before understanding anica dukkha and anatta, there is a risk to discover a "Dirk side".