Merit for others
Merit can be transferred. In the cultivation of a generous spirit, we can give merit or transfer it. What this indicates, is a spiritual practice of a generous spirit, not acquiring merit for oneself, but for the sake of another. I wonder if this is truly what is meant by the practice of earning merit. To do this one requires the proper state of mind. One must give willingly, not grudgingly. It must be given by a generous heart without reservation. It must be given with no expectation of gain on the part of the giver, not “Can it be a quid pro quo arrangement? Doing something to give merit to another is not an arrangement of “I’ll do this for you if you do that for me.” If we have a friend who is ill or in hospital, we can cultivate compassion, by visiting them, listening to them as they express their hopes and fears. We can also accrue merit on their behalf, as stuck in bed in a hospital limits their ability to earn merit.