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107 - Merit Making

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 07/10/2021

Episode 119 - Right Livelihood show art Episode 119 - Right Livelihood

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode dives deep into Right Livelihood, one of the Noble Eightfold Path as laid out by the Buddha. The Eightfold Path is a spiritual path that leads us to deeper and deeper levels of peace and happiness. Ultimately, following all eight of the Eightfold Path until our mind is purified of ignorance, attachment, and selfishness, leads us to enlightenment. When we talk about a path, it signifies a way that leads us somewhere. For anyone who has ever been given the wrong directions to a destination, we know there are things that lead us in the right direction and also in the wrong direction....

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Episode 118 - Right Action show art Episode 118 - Right Action

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this episode we take a deep dive into what Buddha meant by Right Action or conduct. Right Action is part of the Noble Eightfold Path, which lays out the gradual path to enlightenment. Right action means a abstains from non-virtuous actions of body, principally: Killing Stealing Sexual misconduct Abandoning taking life This refers not just to killing human beings, but to refrain from intentionally killing any living, specifically sentient beings means humans, animals and insects.    The positive aspect of abandoning killing is having compassion and kindness toward all living...

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Right Speech - Episode 117 show art Right Speech - Episode 117

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode explores Right Speech, as part of a series on the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path. In the context of the spiritual path, Right Speech is more than just an ethical discipline of behavior. Right Speech is a vital part of purifying our mind so that we can attain spiritual realizations and deeper levels of wisdom. Almost everyone in our modern society engages in some type of unskillful speech. Yet, our speech is so powerful to affect others. If our speech comes from loving-kindness, we can be a mirror that shows someone their beautiful qualities. Conversely,  our words can do great...

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Episode 116 - Right Effort show art Episode 116 - Right Effort

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode focuses on Right Effort, one part of the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddha repeatedly taught the importance of effort, for realizing the rest of the eightfold spiritual path depends on effort. In this context effort means energy directed toward cultivating the mind. The path begins with an impure mind and a wish to change; the liberated mind is the culmination of the path.what comes between is unrelenting effort. Here we focus on the four powers of effort, which teaches us how to make positive change unstoppable.    Time and again the Buddha has stressed the need for effort,...

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Episode 115 - Right View show art Episode 115 - Right View

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this episode, we explore Right View connoting the realization of emptiness. Right View is part of the Noble Eightfold Path, laid out by Buddha as the gradual path to enlightenment. All eight parts of the path are practiced concurrently as we move along our spiritual journey. The eight parts are not sequential or practiced one-at-a-time, but you could say that the realization of emptiness is what directly leads to enlightenment. All the other parts are absolutely necessary to prepare and purify the mind until it can realize the true nature of reality, emptiness. Emptiness describes how...

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Episode 114 - Karma Bandits show art Episode 114 - Karma Bandits

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode is dedicated to Right View, one part of The Noble Eightfold Path. Right View has two parts to it: a mundane right view and a superior right view (emptiness).Today we look at mundane right view which adopts the understanding and belief in karma. It is specifically, “right view of the ownership of action” (kammassakata sammaditthi). What does it mean to live mindfully in accordance with the of karma? “All created things are suffering.”  Seeing this with insight,  One becomes disenchanted with suffering.  This is the path to purity. (278)* —Buddha, The...

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Episode 113 - Right Intention Part - 3: Harmlessness  show art Episode 113 - Right Intention Part - 3: Harmlessness

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this last of a three episode series on Right Intention, one of the Noble Eightfold Path, we look at how to practice the aspect of harmlessness. Right intention has three parts: Renunciation, Loving-kindness, and Harmlessness. Buddhist Teacher, JoAnn Fox, also shares a meditation and daily mindfulness practice to help us cultivate harmlessness.   What is harmlessness in Buddhism Harmlessness is a mind that opposes the wish to harm. It is also a path we cultivate gradually to its highest fruition—becoming harmless toward all living beings. It is compassion that helps us develop...

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Episode 112 - Right Intention Part 2 - Good Will show art Episode 112 - Right Intention Part 2 - Good Will

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

  In this episode, we look at one aspect of Right Intention—loving-kindness. Buddhist Teacher, JoAn Fox, teaches how to practice loving-kindness in daily life, as well as a way to cultivate it through meditation. She teaches and guides the metta meditation, a powerful method to increase our loving-kindness, redirect our love from our usual self-focus, and gradually extend it to all living beings.    What is Right Intention from the Noble Eightfold Path Right Intention is one of the Noble Eightfold Path, the Buddha’s guide to the gradual path to enlightenment. Right intention...

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Episode 111 - Right Intention Part 1  show art Episode 111 - Right Intention Part 1

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode begins a series in which we take a deep dive into the practice of each part of the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path is Buddha’s guide to a gradual path to happiness and, if one chose to take it all the way, to enlightenment. In this episode we look at Right Intention. Right intention has three parts: Loving-kindness, Harmlessness, and Renunciation. We begin with the practice of renunciation.    What is renunciation? Renunciation is not giving up pleasures, shaving our head, or giving away all our material possessions. Lama Yeshe explained, “If a...

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Episode 110 - Two Paths Before You show art Episode 110 - Two Paths Before You

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Buddhism, one could say, is the gradual path to happiness. The essence of all the teachings of Buddha can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Noble Truths reveal Buddha’s realization that life is pervaded by suffering, the cause of suffering are the toxins in the mind like attachment, aversion and ignorance, and that there is a solution to all suffering. The Eightfold Path is contained within the Fourth Noble Truth and is the guide on how exactly to gradually end our sufferings and reveal an authentic, stable happiness from within.   Buddha reveals in the...

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In this episode, we look at creating merit by intentionally engaging in activities that are good karma. Merit, or good karma, propels our spiritual practice forward. Thus accumulating merit is a central activity of a bodhisattva, one striving for enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, as well as those who believe in the law of karma. 

 

Ten merit-making activities 

 

  1. Giving (dāna )
  2. Observing the moral precepts (sīla )
  3. Meditation (bhāvanā )
  4. Showing respect to one's superiors (apacāyana )
  5. Attending to their needs (veyyāvacca )
  6. Transferring merit (pattidāna )
  7. Rejoicing at the merit of others (pattānumodana )
  8. Listening to the Dharma, that is, the Buddha's teachings (dhammasavana )
  9. Preaching the Dharma (dhammadesanā )
  10. Having right beliefs (diṭṭhijjukamma )

 

Guru Padmasambhava said, “My realization is higher than the sky. But my observance of karma is finer than grains of flour.”

 

One is not a mendicant 

Just because one begs from others. 

Nor does one become a mendicant 

By taking on domestic ways.

But whoever sets aside 

Both merit and evil, 

Lives the chaste life, 

And goes through the world deliberately

Is called “a mendicant.” (266–267)* 

 

Not by silence 

Does an ignorant fool become a sage. 

The wise person, who, 

As if holding a set of scales, 

Selects what’s good and avoids what’s evil 

Is, for that reason, a sage. 

Whoever can weigh these two sides of the world 

Is, for that reason, called “a sage.” (268–269)*

—Buddha, The Dhammapada

 

References

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 69-70 (Link)