What is a useful understanding of “the field of merit?” We might think of it in relation to actions positive and negative, but merit is much more. The idea of merit applies to every aspect of a human being, in fact to all of life.
Merit is a higher vibration. Cultivated in the mind, merit includes well wishes, positive and wide ranging thoughts, deep considerations and contemplation. It includes genius, inventiveness, and ingenuity. Creativity also is included if that which is created serves the greater good, in a household, workplace, a culture or time.
Being a higher vibration, merit expressed through the substance of emotions and feelings is obvious. Kindness, compassion, harmony, equanimity, and a caring demeanor generate emotional merit. Real patience gains merit, in contradistinction to agitated waiting. Stoicism might include patience if the vibration of patience is round, soft, full. True patience is not a relegation of emotions to the “what do my feelings matter” category or “feelings are too much work” way of being. These are actually repulse of feelings and emotions.
Actions and activities that benefit others and born from the wellspring of well-being produce merit. Joy and wonder produce merit and hold us in open minded relation. Mind and emotions are sustained in the higher vibrations of gratitude as we wonder about Nature or appreciate something or someone. Actions and thoughts of gratitude are wings, appreciation is the sky.
Merit applies to Life in all regards. For example, bees, insects and birds pollinate flowers and serve all existence. These beings are living constant merit and continually producing more. The self-sacrificing nature of other animals for our companionship as example, or assistance, or as a food is merit for those animals. This does not give us the right to abuse or misuse them, and of course, only negative karma comes from that. The generosity of the plant kingdom is unmatched. It is food source for every creature that has ever existed on our planet, directly or not. Examples could continue, but the point is made: merit is more than what we might normally think about it.
For human beings an easy way to think on merit is the Six Perfections. Buddhist philosophy aside, this list is easy to keep in mind and helps one understand the wide ranging aspects of merit and the positive karma and rebirths that will produce merit like sun creates light.
The Six Perfections are:
- Generosity (giving),
- Kindness (ethics, goodness),
- Joyous Effort or Commitment,
- Mindfulness (meditation and contemplation),
- and Wisdom (deeper understanding about Reality and the wisdom that flows from that understanding).
Merit, then, continues life time after life time. Not only do we retain the higher vibration that is cultivated but that vibration is magnetic. The cosmic Law of Attraction works and draws to us that which is resonant to body, mind, emotions, creativity, aspiration, and demeanor. Thus let us cultivate merit and its vibrations in all regards.
(replay from Dec. 2011)