Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Jul 10, 2021

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



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