I wrote this last night in an effort to describe what I mean by field of merit. How does it grab you?
Flowing unseen, unhindered by seeming limitations of time and space is that which benefits beings. A ‘field of spiritual merit’ which knows no bounds. This is simply the truth of existence.
11 thoughts on “Field Of Merit”
Yes, yes, yes.
Flows beautyfully until i try to grab IT!
Your description of a field of spiritual merit captures well something that is very palpable to me and inspired these words:
When there is a yes in my heart, the Presence is in and around me without horizon. When I have a no in my heart, It is like tepid water gently washing and relaxing a constriction that was truly only held in my mind. This then, for me, is the source of Choiceless Joy!
In gassho, Jim
sounds like it grabbed you well then! Although talking about the Presence could imply an ‘other’ but I don’t think you are saying that. You would have put a cap t on the (Presence) which would have made it ‘other’.
Tricky to find the words, but, yes, I’m not implying (or sensing) an ‘other’. The felt sense is more of a thinning out of “me-ness” and “otherness” and a flowing to the foreground – hence “Presence”- of clarified and loving No-thingness. But I wouldn’t touch that with a thought or it’s off into the brambles we go!
In gassho, Jim
at least you notice! Thanks John I am glad what I wrote spoke to you.
the source of my inspiration…being very much – together – in each others ,em>field of view. It happens that way sometimes dont it.
Dear Jim, You cause me to smile when you say ‘off into the brambles we go.’ With this kind of thing it is so easy to drown. I think you give it a rather good run for its money though. Thanks.
Well perhaps for me the immediate association is a bit more prosaic, as it links in my mind instantly to the film title ‘Field of Dreams.’ ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Perhaps that is somewhere in the intention.
Somebody left me a comment which evaporated from my screen into the internet ether! I may however have hit the wrong button and accidentally deleted it. I am sorry if that was the case. Could you write me with your question via the contact form please and I will answer you individually.
Thanks Chris for giving me the opportunity to write more on field of merit. What you wrote made me smile even though I am not familiar with either the film you mention nor the quote from it.
It was not my intention behind writing that short piece about field of merit to reference the film, i.e. ‘build it, and they will come’ nor the inspiration behind what I wrote. Although you may have caught in the wind that I do have a ‘project’ lurking in the background not entirely unconnected to the field of merit!
The term is not my invention either although I found out AFTER I used it in a, for me, significant talk referring to the Order as a field of merit which I am committed to. Well it is a commitment to all those who train within the order, as well as those who don’t. You could say it is a commitment to practice ALONGSIDE OTHERS, all living things as the kesa verse says.
The kesa, in whatever colour, form and size, is referred to in Buddhism as a field of merit. I have no handy scriptural reference up my sleeve unfortunately. The kesa, as you know, is deeply connected to the Buddhist Precepts being both *symbolic and *identical really. As I was told just before lay ordination, this is not just a bit of black cloth to hang around your neck! Love those American monks!
The late Rev. Master Daizui, former head of the order, extended the meaning of the kesa to include the unseen kesa, that is wearing the kesa of training whether or not it has been formally given and received ceremonially. So it is, with this extended meaning of the kesa, that the field of merit is boundless/formless. This has deep spiritual mean for me.
Here is the kesa verse spoken daily as one clothes oneself with the Precepts for that day.
Somebody asked what is the connection between field of merit and Buddha Nature is and whether or not they are identical in meaning. Looking now at the kesa verse along with what I’ve been saying one can see the the flow of connection. Is it not the wish/vow/promise to live ones life in harmony with the the Precepts which makes manifest the field of merit? To make manifest non separation which is the teaching of the Precepts.
**I will need to write some more about that for those not familiar with how the teaching is passed, or flows, through the generations reaching to the time of the historic Buddha and before him.