Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Does the act of meditation create good merit? Or does it just create a positive state where no bad merit is being accumulated, and create a state of mind more conducive for creating good merit in the future? Or neither, or both?
Also refer to Ven. Thanissaro's great essay about Merit: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/merit.html"This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three grounds for meritorious activity. Which three? The ground for meritorious activity made of generosity, the ground for meritorious activity made of virtue, and the ground for meritorious activity made of development [meditation]. These are the three grounds for meritorious activity" ~~ Iti 60