Whatever the circumstance may be, there is a difference between people who gather merit (or positivity) and those who do not. What do I mean by gathering merit? First, it is to be able to cultivate compassion; to have an altruistic motivation and to do things to benefit others. It is to help people in an appropriate way, such as giving advice, and likewise to be generous and disciplined and to develop patience—to develop these kinds of qualities and do things with a pure, sincere wish to help.

Moreover, someone who regards themselves as a Buddhist should “make offerings upward” and “practice generosity downward,” meaning that one should honor the higher perspectives and wisdoms available to us—to our objects of refuge, the buddhas, our spiritual teachers; and the community of practitioners—and give or become these same resources “downwardly” to others coming along the path and seeking greater understanding. Just as we all have and will continue to do. Define these states of giving and practice generosity like this on a regular basis.

It is through these kinds of actions, done with a pure motivation, that you gather energy, and the result of this is that you will encounter fewer obstacles and hindrances in this life, your aims will be fulfilled, and things will go much more smoothly for you and the world at large.

Peace and Love, Jim

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