From one perspective, merit is “ability”; all the abilities, in fact, that make it possible for us to hear, contemplate, meditate on and practise the dharma, including the ability to feel curious.
These days our merit is so limited that the vast majority of human beings are unable to recognise how special dharma is. Not only do we lack the merit to practise the dharma, we have so little that we can’t even enjoy samsaric life.
from the book Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices
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Further quotes from the book Not for Happiness:
- As they truly are
- To reject your aggression is a weakness
- Spiritual practice is like riding a bicycle
- Maintaining a strong grip on the habits
- The signs of progress
- Rip that ego apart
- No substitute for being guided by a guru
- Wealth is contentment
- It’s all a matter of motivation
- No end to samsara’s sufferings
- The merit of maintaining mindfulness
- What Is Bodhichitta
- Our fundamental problem
- Adapting the Dharma
- Altruism bolsters self-confidence
- Nothing genuinely works in samsara
- Relative and absolute truth
- For the sake of all other beings
- Obstacles Create Fertile Ground for Practice