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Translated teachings of Master Patana

What is Merit in Buddhism? 3 Homes of Merits

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Master’s words:

“Everything around us, all events in life, are only a reflection of ourselves. Be truly conscious, and you will see.

Merit is simply the way you build love and compassion within and outside of yourself.

Demerit is simply how you cause pain and sorrow to yourself and others.

The amount of true merit and demerit will determine how your life will turn out.

Remember one thing: the manifestation of all the realities you are experiencing at this moment comes from your spiritual dimension. Whether you like it or not, whatever you have imprinted onto your spiritual dimension will be manifested by all higher powers and spirits. This will create a karmic cycle based on all the imprints in the spiritual dimension. All merits and demerits will create powerful imprints in the spiritual dimension that will be manifested as realities in your life. All forms of rituals, prayers, and meditations work within the spiritual dimension.

Your first level of merit is to start from within yourself and then progressively expand outside of you, to all around you.

What does all of this mean?

Master’s words:

“Charity begins at home.” You have probably heard this phrase before. But what is the true meaning behind it? No one has ever told you this before. Read on…

Elaboration on Merits at Home: “Charity Begins at Home”

The phrase “charity begins at home” means that the self is the foremost concern. Without truly understanding what love and compassion are within yourself, any other charities outside of yourself would only satisfy the state of ego. Remember, the “home” is the self.

The first merit is with yourself. It’s the most important. Your first “home.”

If true love and compassion exist within yourself first, then you will be able to truly share them with others. How can you share a bowl of rice with others when your own bowl of rice is contaminated?

The problem is that many people do not know that their own bowl of rice is contaminated. People have unintentionally shared their contaminated bowl of rice. The first question is, do you think one should first make a full effort to find out if the bowl of rice you are about to share with others is contaminated?

It is important to work within yourself first to find out if you are being true to yourself. All states of ego have contaminated you. Ignorance of your own ego is the contamination. Never allow the states of ego to possess your life; allow only love to possess you. But how?

First, stay honest with yourself. You do not have to look elsewhere yet, just within yourself, and ask how honest you can be with yourself first.

Was it really out of love that you helped someone, or was it tainted with a small condition that you helped? Was it out of genuine love, or was it an ego fulfillment or even a transaction that you helped someone? Or was it “transactional,” hoping that you will be treated the same way as you have treated others? Did you help out of fear? The ego fulfillment and the transactions were the conditions. Have you found any of these lurking in your thoughts?

Unconditional love is pure love that diminishes instantly when it’s linked with any conditions. Compassion diminishes with the absence of love. To cultivate unconditional love and compassion, one needs to be truly honest and aware of their ego. The first step is recognizing ego, not attempting to be egoless. By simply recognizing the ego, love will truly start happening within oneself, making the flowering of compassion possible.

Recognizing ego involves recognizing our “deals” and “conditions” and not creating excuses for unconscious states of ego. This merit begins within oneself and is the first step towards cultivating love and compassion.

The second merit involves giving true charity to family members without associating it with money. True charity means sharing and giving love, without any conditions or expectations. One must understand that money is important for survival in this society, but it should not be associated with love. Giving love and joy to our closest kin is the purest form of charity, and it cultivates love within our spiritual dimension.

The third merit is giving true charity outside of oneself. This involves understanding that our lives are interdependent, and we cannot exist without all other existences around us. Giving true charity means sharing and giving love without any conditions or expectations to anyone, not just family members. This is true compassion, and it is the highest form of charity.

The quality of merit is more important than the material that has been received. If everyone in the world understands these three homes of merit, the world would start functioning positively. By giving true charity to family members, we can break down the wall that divides us and make spiritual progress. When we are able to give to anyone, not related to us, without any conditions, the wall disappears entirely. This transformation of love into true compassion leads to the accumulation of true merits within our spiritual dimension.

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