what is merit & how do we make it?
'Merit' is the discerning eye of a wholesome mind that is able to perceive the latent potential within any situation to become a virtuous expression of one's own buddha nature. Opportunities to participate directly in supporting, creating, spreading, and maintaining buddha wisdom-phenomena [statues, paintings, texts, stupas and temples] can become a boundless 'field of accumulation'. Creating positive conditions for loving the ground of our lives by compassionately planting the seed of our buddha nature. Our lives become truly meaningful.
We effectively serve the needs of all beings in a vast, impartial way.
This two-fold accumulation of merit and wisdom leads to the ultimate fruit of two-fold omniscient buddha wisdom - perfect enlightenment.
Therefore, the cultivation of a vast store of merit is essential to the attainment of perfect enlightenment. For without merit, not even the word, "Buddha" is heard.
As such, 'merit' purifies and cleanses the mind replacing ignorance with wisdom. This 'merit' is the result of positive actions intentionally working together with and for collective benefits shared with others.
An excellent way to make merit and wisdom is to participate in constructing holy monuments like temples and stupas.
A properly consecrated stupa has the ability to transform the lives of individuals and improve circumstances for the entire world. That's because the stupa embodies the non-dual wisdom-mind of a buddha.