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Showing posts from October 7, 2013

The Merit Book Reflection

In sri lanka there was a wonderful cultural practice that developed virtue and self-esteem: When children first started to attend school, their teachers would set a side a journal for each student, known as a 'merit book,' (punna-potthaka). So each morning the teacher could ask her or his student 'What good deed have you done?" After the student would answer—perhaps "I helped my grandmother carry the groceries home…etc"—the teacher could instruct the student to "Write it in the punna."

If the students kept up with the practice of writing regularly in their 'merit books', eventually, over the course of a lifetime, these journals would be filled up with good deeds. Naturally, the years passed and the time would arrive when the student became old and sick and, having reached their deathbeds, their family members and friends would gather around and read their merit books back to them, as a way to put their minds at ease as they faced death.