- Making merit in the name of a deceased
- By helping oneself one helps others
- A medicine for treating the ills of life
- The primal disease
- Becoming aware of sense contact
- Restraining the senses to see more clearly
- The development of the mind
- Qualities of Samādhi
- Right Samādhi
- The real value of Samādhi
- The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
- Sati and Samādhi
- Sati and Vipassanā
- Keeping awareness in the present
- Dhamma practice: passive or active?
- In conclusion
- Author’s Note
Making merit in the name of a deceased
The ceremony of making merit in the name of a deceased is one way of showing appreciation for our benefactors. Even many years after they have passed away, their children and relatives still take their goodness to heart and express their appreciation with an annual act of almsgiving, dedicating any merits arising from the occasion in their memory. This is one way of acknowledging their goodness, enabling their memory and worthiness to live on in the hearts of their children and relatives. It is also an opportunity for the sponsors to develop skillful qualities.
In the Buddhist religion it is said that when people perform meritorious actions in the name of a deceased, they should make their minds calm and clear. When the mind is so cleared and composed, that act of dedicating merit is said to be most efficacious.
Looking at it in one way, the act of merit-making seems to be done simply for the sake of the deceased, but if we look more closely we will see that really the results arise within ourselves. When we are performing an act of merit to be dedicated to another, we must first calm and clear our own minds, and then consciously dedicate the fruits of our good actions. When the mind is so established, our dedication of merit is most thorough and fruitful. Merit or goodness must first arise within our own heart before it can be dedicated to another.