Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/21/2015

The (Merit) Notebook

I believe I have written about this before and know that I have briefly experimented with the practice but, because I have taken it up again and it is on my mind, I thought it would be food to share the idea of a merit notebook. You see, yesterday at work I was listening to a Dhamma talk by Ajahn Achalo on the subject of how to die well. Speaking to this he brought up the belief that one’s mind state at the time of death is one of the most important factors in determining one’s rebirth. Add such, it is important that the mind stay as bright and joyous as possible which is why there odd a tradition in Sri Lanka of keeping personal records of one’s meritorious deeds so that one can reflect on them at the time of death. And, in the case where a person is unable to read the notebooks for themselves, the merit notebook can be read to them.

Seems like a great idea doesn’t it? I know that, even in the short span of one day it had great effect as  I was able to reflect this morning on some of the few good deeds I had done and the mind instantly became brighter and more receptive to metta. Interestingly,  i also forgot one thing I had written down which highlighted the need for a written record all the more.

Ajahn Achalo recommended recording not only acts of generosity but also meditatons you have done, pilgrimages,  visits to teachers, precepts kept and any other form of merit made. St present I am using Evernote to keep track and then we’ll print the records of I am able to keep up the practice.


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