Dharma Quote from Snow Lion Publications

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Dharma Quote of the Week

“Accumulating merit” can be approached from a psychological perspective that lends itself to experiential verification or from a spiritual dimension that requires some faith. “Merit” can be understood as “spiritual power” that manifests in day-to-day experience. When merit, or spiritual power, is strong, there is little resistance to practicing Dharma and practice itself is empowered.

Tibetans explain that people who make rapid progress in Dharma, gaining one insight after another, enter practice already having a lot of merit. By the same theory, it is possible to strive diligently and make little progress. Tibetans explain this problem as being due to too little merit. Merit is the fuel that empowers spiritual practice.

How do you accumulate merit? Engaging in virtue of any sort, with your mind, your speech, or your body results in merit. Just as merit can be accumulated, it can also be dissipated by doing harm. In general, mental afflictions dissipate merit. The mental affliction that is like a black hole sucking up merit, worse than all the others, is anger. Attachment or sensual craving can get you in a lot of trouble, but it doesn’t have the debilitating impact upon spiritual practice that anger does. Remember the warrior metaphor–standing at the gateway of the mind, vigilant, spear ready. The spear is for mental afflictions, especially anger. Nip anger in the bud. (p.208)

–from Buddhism with an Attitude: The Tibetan Seven-Point Mind Training by B. Alan Wallace, published by Snow Lion Publications

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