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       Very few people know about the power of doing merits and the immense
       power that comes with it. Most of the times we are taught to do meritorious
       acts but the benefits from such actions are not explained to us.

       We are not told that this immense power of meritorious actions can liberate us from
       suffering. Is this immense power the secret of all the 84,000 scriptures of the
       Dhamma? The truth is, it is beyond the secrecy. Is this immense power
       the heart of the Lord Buddha? It is not the heart, but the bone marrow of
       the Lord Buddha. It is embedded deeper inside the body than the heart.
       This power is collectively the hearts of all the Buddhas in the universe.
       It is the bone marrow of all the great Buddhas that have ever existed. It is
       the infrastructure of the Buddha's wisdom; it is the soul of all the Pacceka
       Buddhas; it is the flesh and blood of all the Buddha's disciples whose duties
       are to continue the Buddha's teaching for future generations.
       
       Our spirit is like our home and mindfulness is like the door to a home.
       We are mindful when we recognize that we have to close the door whenever
       we see strong wind whirling the dust our way, or when rain starts gushing
       toward the house, or when we learn that a thief is on the loose. A person
       who is not mindful is like a house with a door left opened. Consequently,
       we are the victims of robbers, who, not only rob us of our belongings but
       also rob our spirit. We allow our spirit to be soaking wet and polluted with
       all the dust and trash that is blown right into us. Therefore, children, if you
       ask me what mindfulness is. It is the door and the window of our spirit. A
       mindful person is the person who is on alert and is in control of opening
       or closing of the door and window. The person who is not mindful is like
       a person who occupying a house with no means to protect. Any thing can
       come and go as it wishes. He doesn't know, he doesn't pay attention, and
       he doesn't even recognize the danger he is facing. Finally the opened door
       may bring about the consequences of sadness, heartbreak or death.
       
       Lord Buddha teaches us to be mindful in order to guard the gateway
       to our inner being. We prepare ourselves and try to avoid the danger from
       robbers. We cautiously peek through our window and door ready to shut the
       danger out. When we do invite a guest into our home. We enjoy our
       conversation, be it good or bad, praise or criticism, laughing or gossiping,
       but even after our guest has left, the conversation still lingers and the feeling
       and thoughts still occupy our mind. We have let down our guard. We allowed
       our mind to cling to the enemy from outside. We do not know whom we
       should welcome or refuse to our house. We are not mindful, We have lost
       our energy and we don't know how to use our energy properly.
       
       What is a power? Concentration is a power. In order to fully understand
       what the power is, we need to understand the meanings of doors and windows
       and the valuable belongings in our home. As mentioned before mindfulness
       is the door and window; it is also the fence, the wall, the roof, the floor and
       the structure of the house. The power of concentration is like our valuable
       belongings inside, which is protected by the shell of the house. A person,
       who wants to develop power (concentration) but he is not mindful, is like
       keeping a diamond outside our home, on the front porch. The diamond
       becomes an easy target for robbers because it does not have any protections.
       Anyone can steal that diamond in an instant. In order to develop power
       of concentration, one needs to be mindful.
       
       As I have said before, a sacred Buddha is not a Buddha medallion that
       hangs around the neck. It is the Quality of mindfulness that makes one's life
       sacred. A mindful person will not accidentally step on broken glasses; a
       mindful person doesn't anger others; a mindful person will not act differently
       for others to criticize or admire him; and finally a mindful person doesn't
       need approval or disapproval from others. He is his own self; he earns his
       own respect. He preserves his energy, develops his energy and maintains
       his energy. He knows how to utilize his energy.
       
       It is very important to understand the difference between immense power,
       eternal power, mindfulness and consciousness (spirit). They seem to have
       very similar meanings and characteristics on the surface. However, each one
       of them is different and serves a different purpose. Merits endow immense
       power. There is a question whether we could explain this power of merits in
       a mathematical formula. It is not possible because mathematics deals with
       numbers and tangible values. We cannot measure or evaluate merits in term
       of definite numbers. We can only feel and be aware of this immense power.
       For example, people near and around a person with this power of merits can
       feel his or her radiance of peace and tranquility.
       
       To summarize, a person with the power of merits brings peace and
       happiness, tranquility and wisdom to any beings that come in touch with him.
       Unlike tangible things, one cannot measure peace, happiness, tranquility and
       wisdom in terms of mathematical calculations. But, then how can we measure
       merits? We can only measure merits by comparing it with other phenomena.
       We considered the Neutron, Proton and Atom to be very minute, delicate and
       have enormous energy. The power of merits exceeds in value and subtlety
       even to the Neutron, Proton and Atom. The power of merits is a boundless
       power that is possessed by all great beings, by the Buddha, by the Arahant,
       by the Bodhisatta, by the Pacceka Buddha, and by the emperor.
       
       Are there any differences between the power of merit and spiritual power,
       if so, which one is more powerful? Yes, there are differences between the
       power of merit and spiritual power. Spiritual power supersedes the power of
       merit. Although the power of merit is boundless, but it still arises from the
       actions of each individual beings (the law of karma). The power of merits
       is like nutrients for plants. It is the food or pre-requisite for human spiritual
       power. Its enormous power cannot be robbed by robber, lost in the flood or
       perished by fire.
       
       The spiritual power is so superior that it cannot even be described by
       or be compared to any concrete examples such as doors and windows. Our
       spirit or consciousness has no shape; it is like a vacuum space (Sunyakad)
       endowed with an infinite energy. The Lord Buddha called this energy "Sunyata",
       which means voids, nothingness, emptiness, with a feeling of light heartedness,
       relief, and a feeling of freedom. This spiritual energy is eternal; nothing in
       the universe can destroy it. Every single moment of our consciousness (citta)
       possesses this eternal energy equally. But how well can we be in touch with
       our own consciousness, in order to really understand it? That depends on how
       we perceive our consciousness at a particular moment. When we open the
       door to our soul, do we perceive our consciousness truthfully, calmly, deeply,
       and dispassionately?
       
       One who attains this spiritual power also attains the solar system, the
       galaxy, the Milky Way, and the infinite universe. THE LORD BUDDHA HAD
       ATTAINED THIS SPIRITUAL POWER or the power of consciousness and
       he proclaims: "I am the world, the world is I, consciousness is the world,
       the world is consciousness, consciousness is I, I am the world." Whoever
       attains this spiritual power, which is the eternal power, would clearly
       understand and be able to demonstrate the power of the world, so easily
       just like a person displays the line on his palm when he shows his hand.
       But the person, who attains the immense power of merits, attains only the
       food for his spirit. Unlike the eternal power, the power of merits is the
       nutrient that nourishes the soul, just like the sunshine photosynthesizes
       nutrients for plants, or like the nutrients inside leaves, inside bark, inside
       tree root, inside pulp and inside tree trunks.
       
       Merit is the source of spiritual power; and spiritual power is the
       product of the power of merit. Both spirit and merits are dependent on
       each other. For example, a blessed meritorious person, a person with
       meritorious heart, and the person who continues to develop meritorious
       acts; his mind is clear, clean, tranquil and illuminated. The mind of that
       person is always full of meritorious thoughts; it is free from anger and
       vengeance, jealousy, selfishness, stinginess, and greed. His emotions
       would not get stirred up easily. This unpolluted mind is very close to
       the state of Sunyata (Voids, non-self), but has yet to attain this state
       because this mind is not completely depleted of the feeling of SELF (Atta).
       
       The state of Sunyakad (a vacuum space) is not the state of Sunyata
       (Voids). If we compare the difference between these two states in terms of
       distance, the distance between Sunyakad and Sunyata is endless. They
       are many billions of light years apart from each other. These two
       phenomena are so different that it is not possible to explain it with concepts
       of time or space; that is how different they are, beyond any descriptions.
       
       A person with a heart full of merit is a person who leads his life with
       meritorious deeds in all his thoughts, speech and actions. His spiritual
       power grows beyond the immense power of his merits. He attains this
       eternal power that is immortal and not destroyed by any force. One who
       attains this spiritual power can transform the world from black to white,
       change darkness into daylight, turns the lengthy into briefness. This
       person with spiritual power has the power over all things, all beings,
       all living things, and all nature. He is beyond the reach of the Lord of
       death throughout the world-period and the end of the universe.
       
       The Lord Buddha might have lived for thousands of years, had he been
       asked by venerable Ananda to do so. Before the supreme teacher relinquished
       his life, he had shown many signs for venerable Ananda to appeal for him to
       remain longer. He hinted to venerable Ananda with Omen, with illness, with
       manners and finally with speech. But venerable Ananda was unable to grasp
       the suggestion because of his unclear mind and unrefined psyche. So he did
       not appeal to the Buddha to remain. The Lord Buddha explained in the Maha
       Parinibbana Sutta as follows: "Bhikkus, Sariputta, The Tathagata has the
       power over the Lord of death. The Tathagata could, if he so desired, remain
       for thousands of light years or eternity without leaving this body or leaving
       this present form."
       
       This proclaims that the eternal power or the spiritual power that one attains
       is the supreme power: the power that is greater than any things, any natural
       force, any soul and even death. When I was asked regarding the power of
       merit and spiritual power, I replied that they are different, but they are the
       cause and effect to each other. Merit is an immense power that transforms
       a pauper into a king, that turns an ordinary person into an extraordinary
       person, that helps the near dead person become alive. Merit is the immense
       power that helps anyone fulfill any desires and achieve any goals. However,
       the power of merits is still inferior to the eternal power of consciousness.
       Therefore:
       
       He who's in touch with his mind.
       
       He who unifies his mind.
       
       He who knows his mind, and he who understands his mind.
       
       That is he, the great one, who comprehends the world and the life beyond.
       
       Although we are oblivious of spiritual power, all of us have it within
       ourselves but needs to be cultivated; although we may acknowledge this
       spiritual power, we do not know how to use it. Although we tell everyone
       that we do not know what spirit and spiritual power are, we are in fact
       using this power wastefully. We do not know how to preserve and accumulate
       this power. Therefore, Lord Buddha taught us to be in touch with our own
       spirit, in other word our own consciousness. He pointed out to us the benefits
       of the spiritual awareness, which can lead any individual with this power to
       nibbana, (the cessation and cooled down, the release of all suffering.) A
       person with the power of merits alone cannot enter nibbana; the immense
       power derived from the power of merits does not possess enough force to
       thrust that person into nibbana. The only force that can help an individual to
       attain nibbana is THE SPIRITUAL POWER. This spiritual power must be
       properly cultivated and developed through one's body, speech and mind.
       This supreme power which is eternal does not come from any outside
       source, is not given by any teacher, nor was bestowed to us by the Buddha.
       It sprouts from the heart of a blessed meritorious person: the heart that is
       full of compassion, the heart that is pure and virtue. This power develops
       from our good deeds, as we called it, the act of meritorious deeds. Moreover,
       we must not be attached to our merits, we must not be infatuated or proud
       of doing them, we must let go of our merits and enter the state of a vacuum
       space (sunyakad), and finally we must transcend to the state of Sunyata
       which means voids or emptiness.
       
       The process of spiritual development starts with filling up our body, speech
       and mind with meritorious deeds. As mentioned before merit is the food for
       our spirit. It is similar to nutrients for our body. When we go to war; our body
       is subjected to hardships, lack of sleep and goes through harsh environment.
       If the body were weak from lack of food and nutrients, we will not be able to
       use it for any effective means. This undernourished body cannot walk long
       distances or even help with any tasks, let alone winning the war.
       
       The supreme teacher, the Lord Buddha, taught us to do merits. It means
       to do good deeds wisely and selectively. When one is wise, one does good
       deeds, and these good deeds become our storehouse of merits. Merits mean
       full, fulfill, and contentment of the heart. Whenever we possess the food for
       our mind and the food for our body; it is absolutely certain that our mind and
       body can make the journey into the realm of the eternal energy and arrive at
       the final spiritual destiny, the state of NIBBANA. This journey is a journey
       undaunted, a journey without delay, a journey without dismay, and a journey
       without weariness. And all of this is because of the properly developed power,
       because our heart, our stomach, and our soul are filled with nourishment.
       Therefore the supreme teacher, the Lord Buddha taught us to "cultivate merits
       to strengthen the spirit." It is the responsibility of an ordained person, to
       accept merits, to develop merits, to manage merits and to act as a recipient
       to the provider of merits. He is to lead the people with meritorious intention
       to go beyond the immense power of merits and attain the eternal power.
       These are the duties of the disciple of the Blessed one. The disciple of the
       Blessed one guides all children, kinsmen, and the Buddhist community to the
       door of grains, the door of food, and the door of abundance; altogether they
       are the door of MERITS. With the most compassionate and sympathetic heart
       toward all beings, the disciple of the Blessed one teaches the arriver to let
       go of the word merits, to relinquish the word merits, to abandon the word
       merits, to be unattached to and to rid oneself of the word MY MERIT. Once
       arriving at the door of merits, one must cross beyond the state of meritorious
       awareness, beyond the treasury of merits, through the door to the realm of
       Sunyakad, the vacuum space. Then one must transcend into Sunyata, the
       voids, and the emptiness. Only then can that certain individualized
       consciousness, that certain person arrives at the state of NIBBANA (the
       cessation, cooled down and free from suffering.)
       
       Again the answer to the question, if the immense power of merits and
       the eternal spiritual power the same, is no, they are not the same. They are
       different. They are the cause and effect to each other. Only the blessed
       meritorious person can attain the spiritual power.
       
       There are ten kinds of meritorious acts that the Lord Buddha taught us:
       
       1. Generosity, the act of giving.
       2. Maintain virtue, observe the precepts
       3. Attentive to the Dhamma teaching.
       4. Be compassionate toward other beings
       5. Mental development (meditation)
       6. Fulfill duties as parents or children
       7. Reverence and humbleness
       8. Rejoice in others' merit.
       9. Practice the Dhamma
       10. Forming correct views
       
       This is the path to attain the immense power of merits. We can explain
       the meritorious act with a scientific comparison of the power booster for a
       rocket of a spacecraft. Scientists use a certain kind of fuel to thrust the
       rocket beyond earth's gravitational force. The power of merits is similar to
       this kind of fuel. It generates an immense thrust of power to an individual's
       journey out of this worldly suffering. Once in space, astronauts eject this
       primary rocket booster and deploy another kind of fuel to propel the spacecraft
       through space.
       
       This is because the atmosphere in outer space is different from the
       earth's atmosphere; there is no atmosphere and no gravitational force.
       Therefore it is necessary for the spacecraft to use a different kind of fuel,
       which is lighter, more powerful and which can withstand the pressure. Spiritual
       power is similar to this second kind of fuel. It generates the special power
       for an individual to attain Nibbana. Our duty is to transcend ourselves from
       this world, utilizing these two kinds of energy: the immense power of merits
       and the eternal spiritual power. It is the duty of the supreme Enlightened
       One, the Lord Buddha, to teach people about the power of merits and spiritual
       power, and it is the duty of his noble clans, the Sakyas, to continue propagate
       the path (these two great powers) to enlightenment.
       
       Birth is suffering; death is suffering; old age is suffering; sickness is
       suffering; satisfaction and dissatisfaction is suffering; these are the sufferings
       in this world. When we realize that this world is full of sufferings, we try to
       find the way to overcome these sufferings. The Lord Buddha showed us the
       path, which consists of the two powers. These two powers will transcend us
       beyond this world of suffering. Just like scientists who realize that this earth
       is becoming too crowded and mankind needs to look for new habitats on other
       planets. They need to build a spacecraft that can travel through space and
       utilize the two kinds of fuel to propel it. More than two thousand years ago,
       the Lord Buddha discovered powers that can salvage humans from these
       sufferings. These two powers are the power of merits or the immense power,
       and spiritual power to which I called " the eternal power." Our duty is to fully
       develop these two powers in our heart and soul. That is the main duty of
       human beings. We, the disciples of the noble clan, the Sakyas, also have
       the duty to point out, to explain, and to clarify the path to the cessation of
       sufferings to all beings; so they can be of benefit to themselves and to the
       people around them. This is the duty of the disciples of the Blessed One,
       nothing more. Just like an aerospace engineer whose main duty is to develop
       a spacecraft that defy the earth's gravity and reach the universe beyond. Just
       only a few decades ago, scientists discovered the knowledge of using matter
       to thrust matter beyond the earth's gravitational force. But it has been more
       than 2,000 years ago since the Lord Buddha discovered the knowledge of
       transcending the consciousness, the spirit, the body and the energy beyond
       this world.
       
       The Lord Buddha is perfectly enlightened, he is endowed with all the
       knowledge in the universe; he is the supreme being who possesses the two
       greatest powers in the world and in the universe: the immense power of
       merit and the eternal spiritual power. We cannot deny that the Lord Buddha
       is the greatest man of all mankind. More than 2,000 years ago, the Lord
       Buddha discovered, perceived, understood and spoke about the energy of
       light, the speed of sound and the speed of all the cosmic energies in the
       universe. But the scientific knowledge of these phenomena had yet to be
       discovered until just recently. Scientists are following the footsteps of the
       Lord Buddha. This generation is following behind the footsteps of their
       ancestors.
       
       We should always remember that we are the descendents of a great clan
       in the universe. Whenever we pronounce his name: ARAHANTA
       SAMMASAMBUDDHA (The Blessed one, the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened
       One), that is when we are the children of this Supreme Being, the Lord Buddha.
       He is the greatest benefactor in the universe. We are not shy or ashamed to
       call out his name if we practice his teaching earnestly. But if we do not
       practice, nor investigate and verify his teachings, then, what is the use of calling
       out his name a million times a day. Calling out the Lord Buddha's name is
       not much of a salvation in our lives.
       
       All my life, I have always felt very proud, and bold enough to announce to
       the whole world and the whole universe that I AM THE SAKYA CLAN, I AM
       THE SAKYA, THE VALIANT ONE, THE BRAVE ONE. No one in this universe
       possesses the courage that could surpass the courage of the Sakyas. Only the
       valiant one, the brave one, the one who can fully control and manage his own
       mind and soul, is the one who is to continue, to carry on the duty, and to
       inherit the spirit and the soul of the Lord Buddha. It is very difficult to find
       and there is very few of such great men around, who have attained the true
       nature of the immense power. It is also very difficult to find, during this
       period of time, and there is very few of such great men around who could
       explain, point out and clarify the conditions of these two supreme powers
       endowed within the bodies of all the Exalted Lord Buddhas in the past.
       
       I do not feel embarrassed to speak of the power of the Lord Buddha; nor
       do I find it difficult to explain the spirit and the consciousness endowed within
       the power of the Lord Buddha. This is one way to glorify his name, to honor,
       and to expand his spirit and consciousness. It is our duty to transfer the
       spiritual power from one consciousness to another and to continue this process
       indefinitely until every single one of the existing individual consciousnesses
       receives the spiritual power. Consequently, this power will stay eternally to
       help relinquish and salvage all beings from this suffering world.
       
       Ten years ago I talked about the duty of a monk in this religion that it is:
       "TO RELEASE ALL BEINGS FROM BONDAGE TO HIMSELF AND TO THE
       WORLD."
       
       My Dear Children
       The inheritance your grandfather (The Buddha) gave me is the following
       instruction; "You must rely on yourself and make yourself available for others
       to rely on you."
       
       My Dear Children
       You must not practice the Dhamma on a part time basis, not like the
       way you just barely fill up your stomach when you feel hungry, but you
       must continuously practice the Dhamma, like the water that is continuously
       absorbed by the earth.
       
       My Dear children
       The path to knowing yourself starts from when you know how to
       distinguish between your good and evil qualities. After you know how to
       separate these two qualities from yourself, you will be able to choose your
       own conducts with an enlightened mind, an awakening mind, and an
       illuminated mind. And whenever you decide to quit, you will be able to
       do so.
       
       My Dear Children
       The virtue of Dhamma, for me, is not used for discriminating against
       good or evil, but it is for me to live my life like the one without any attachment
       
       My Dear Children
       You must always question yourself of how you got here; why you are here;
       what you obtain from here; and what you are doing here at this time. You must
       also always remind yourself that all of us are approaching ... death.
       
       My Dear Children
       I have discovered that no one bestows the supreme power, the supreme
       force, and the supreme being to us; it is up to us alone to practice, develop
       and search for these qualities from within ourselves.
       
       My Dear Children
       Human wealth means anything that yields happiness and great benefits to
       a person immediately in this life. To acquire it, one must exchange it with
       one's sweat and labor.
       
       Heavenly wealth means virtue, good behavior, morality, and wisdom of a
       person. That person poses no danger to the society; he gives nothing less
       than friendship and kindness to others. He receives blessings from his good
       deeds in this lifetime without having to wait until his next life.
       
       Nibbana wealth means the complete termination and the extinguishing of
       all defilement, which causes attachments and delusions in life, in birth, in old
       age, in sickness, and in death. Finally it is the peace, the cooled down and
       the cessation of all sufferings.
       
       Children, if you earnestly try, you should be able to obtain these three
       kinds of wealth immediately and right here in this life time without having to
       wait until your next life. Only when you succeed, will you be considered a
       true beneficiary of the Buddhist religion.
       
       My Dear Children
       MERITS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF THE PATH TO OBTAIN ALL WEALTHS.