Mindful of merits
September 2022 edition
In the last month Editorial, we have discussed how the admiration of seeing a meritorious activity done by others can help us on the path to Nirvana. Do you remember that we even took an incident happened during the time of Lord Samma Sambuddha as an example? So, this time through this month editorial, let’s try to understand how we should develop our mind to collect merits by just seeing and admiring a meritorious activity done by others.
As you know these days, many people around the world shares loads of pics & videos of various meritorious activities done by themselves through social media & internet. Even we do the same through our “The Project Nirvana Dhamma”. We can see some are pleased to see those, while some of them are not so happy for various reasons. Some of them are getting worried by saying “Oh, I couldn’t be part of this act… I couldn’t contribute any money for this… I couldn’t come & join with you…” etc.… etc… Now it’s time to let go of such worries. Let’s develop our mind. When you get such a picture or a video of some meritorious activities done by someone else, let’s do some meditation.
For an example, remember the times you go through your family albums. Remind how your mind behave when you see an old photograph of some of your old family event which you couldn’t be a part of it. Also, remember how your mind behave, when you see some event of your favorite celebrity attending to a party or an event. How your mind work? Can you see that the way your mind involves with those moment gives you the results accordingly!
So, then… now, when you see a photograph or a video of a meritorious activity done by someone else, spend a little time with it. Concentrate on the meritorious act you see. Imagine you are doing it. Imagine, if you are doing that same act, how you are going to do it. For an example, let’s say you received a photograph of a person who is painting a pagoda. Imagine, if you were there, how you are going to paint it? Just take a moment and imagine you are doing the same act. And think, why you are doing so? Remember what you have received from the noble Samma SamBuddhas, noble Dhamma, noble Sangha – the triple gem! The more you think of the effect of noble triple gem and what it brought to your life, the faith… the respect… will develop more & more. Remember, if it wasn't for this noble triple gem, how destitute you can be in this samsara. Remember the fate of ours, if there wasn't a path of liberation, when we seek for it for the most!
If you still haven't felt the noble triple gem, just because you may still haven't got anything from it, then there are some questions you should ask from yourself!
Take a moment and think... Why is this group called NOBLE Sangha? What's so noble on them? Why is this Samma Sambuddha and the Arahants are so special? Why they do deserve this much of offerings & respect? What makes those noble ones are so special, that even their bodies are changed as relics and remain special, while body parts rot and perish after the death of an ordinary body? Why are they still being blessed with unlimited food, clothes, cabins, medicine, etc. even if they are not alive? What is so special on them? What is the specialty that others felt and that I still did not? What am I missing? What did this blessed one said? Why don't I feel those things yet? Take a moment to ask this question!
When you see any pic or video of such a meritorious activity again, do not think about the external facts like how you couldn’t be a part of it by being there physically or giving money or contribute anything for it etc. Just live that moment fully from your mind! Make it your own act! If you are wise enough to develop your mind in such a manner, even a photograph of a meritorious act can become a great meditation for you. To attain nibbana, it is necessary to develop five faculties. These five strengths should be with us, and they should develop equally. Those are Faith (Saddhā), Vigor (Viriya), Awareness (Sati), Focus (Samādhi) and Wisdom (Paññā). So, developing a mind to admire and own the meritorious act by doing it through your mind, is a way of developing these five faculties too. This is in another way the path of liberation. And also, this will guide you to be with the noble friends, and seek for the noble friends more & more!
Do good deeds whenever it is possible! Also try to contribute with money and labor as the opportunity arises. When talking about money, don't think of thousands or lakhs of money. All if you can give is a just rupee, then give that rupee without clinging it to it. If your mind struggles to find out what happened to that rupee after you're given to the other party, or if you feel guilty of giving it to the wrong hand, identify these thoughts. This agitated mind needs to be recognized and develop properly. Be good at letting go of the amount or the effort you spend.
Also, you need to recognize the cunning mind of yours. If you feel, you are willfully avoiding the opportunities that you could have been contributed by money or effort, just because you are now well-trained to do meritorious activities through online or just by looking at others... that's my friend, is a cunning thought. Beware of them!
Also, identify the worrying thoughts of missing of the opportunity of contributing or joining it personally. Sometimes mind can be wondering the amount spend of such activities or the food wastage etc. Recognize all these unwholesome thoughts. Recognize how mind is bound with desires and confliction. Identify, how difficult is to be pleased by or admire someone else's good deed.
So, as you can see, a great meditation can be done through a photo or video of a meritorious activity. All of these are great opportunities to understand the so call "I". Because mind is all about measuring what you see, hear, contact or sense. And all these measurements create "The Self". While you seek for the theories of how to do meditation like breathing meditation "Anapanasathi" or Awareness Meditation "Sathara Sathipattana" or Mindfulness meditation or other meditation types, you are missing the point of true meditation which advised by the blessed one!
If you can wisely grab the moral of the explanation, you can see that through this little action you can develop all those deep meditations explained in Buddhism.
May all this short explanation help you to understand the meditation that should be done every time, except the time of your deep sleep, as shown by Lord Samma Sambuddha!
So, my dear Dhamma friends, all the offerings which made for the blessed one is to show our gratitude. And if you are wise enough to do the right kind of meditation through all those offerings, then the paying respect to the noble triple gem is in its best. So, whether when you see a good deed… when you see a pic or video of an offering or any kind of meritorious act… just take a moment and start your mediation and find your “self”, and identify who you are! Have a blessed time!