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Khyenrab

Dedication of merits

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Tashi Delek,

 

I have a question about the dedication of merits. Yesterday after the teaching we dedicated the merits (of the good karma created by participating in the teaching) to other sentient beings. Would I be right in thinking (of course I would be) that even more good karma is created by the (final) dedication. I associate this with what His Holiness The Dalai Lama refers to when He says: "If you are selfish, be selfish in a big way." Of course there is no selfishness in that - "the greatness of selfishness" is the beginning of egolessness.

I understand the Dedication of merits as a wonderful way of avoiding a silly mind that thinks:"I must collect merits, so far I have gathered 23 pretty good ones, I hope The Lord Buddha is aware of that! He should be!" Or something like that... Further on I feel it is really a good example or a demonstration of how the mind of a Bodhisattva "works". There is really no collecting of merits, there is only the vast ocean of sufferings of sentient beings and the mind of a Bodhisattva plunges into it smilingly and with delight. There will be no rest for this one until all sentient beings are peaceful and happy. It is a great sacrifice (I can't think of a higher one).

So he/she does not really collect merits, one is saving the world unceasingly. And by dedicating the merits one "frees" the mind so that it is quickly prepared to reenter into positive action as soon as possible. I understand the dedication of merits as the purification of the collecting of merits - it is not for me. "The sword of a Bodhisattva must be sharpened every hour, for a Bodhisattva will wield it elegantly from moment to moment, there is no break in it at all, except for the quiet sharpening of the sword during the night and meditation." The Dedication of merits is a metaphor for the mind of a Bodhisattva. After saving a hundred sentient beings, these are not seen as merits - a Bodhisattva will look upon the vast ocean of suffering sentient beings and compassionatelly say (as Arya Shantideva brilliantly puts it): "Relying on them alone, I will reach Enlightenment." - forget merits, the liberated ones must be instantaneously "forgotten", the suffering ones liberated "in a flash".

 

Am I right in thinking like this?

Thank you.

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Guest lodreu

Tashi Delek,

 

Accumulation of Merits is necessary to achieve some realizations. In a way, you can have a lot of positive karma, but if you don't have merits, then you cannot achieve some Dharma experience.

Merits are then very important for us as beginners on the Path, and for others, as without them, no progression and actualization of Bodhicitta.

I remember one sentence I saw once in a Dharma center. Unfortunately I don't remember from which Lama. It was "for us beginners it's more important to purify and accumulate merits than to meditate". As meditation is very important, it could mean that purification and accumulation of merits are the first step towards a sucessful practice :D .

 

Merits are also created by Hinyana practitionner, so it might be possible to generate merits and still be selfish ;-). Selfishness being more subtle than what appears to the mind at first. It unfortunately pervades all our actions till we don't actualize Bodhicitta.

 

This Bodhicitta we are training for at the dedication, is of course reinforced by this energy involved in the dedication. But it's also possible to offer and dedicate all day long. Everytime you see something that pleases you, or if you are having a new experience, then it's possible to offer it and dedicate it to the three Jewels.

As Lama Zopa was saying, breathe with Compassion, eat with Compassion, drink with Compassion, etc....

 

Best regards,

Lodreu

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Dear Lodreu,

which mantras are best for us beginners (with no initiation) to be recited?

Thank you,

Pamo

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Guest lodreu

Tashi Delek,

 

The Chenrezig mantra can be recited daily as many times as possible, in any situations :D

Some people might think it's an "easy mantra", not really as worth as "great" Tantric practice, but it's actually a mistake. The benefits of this mantra are difficult to describe as wide as they are. Also Chenrezig is a very popular figure in many traditions.

 

 

Best regards,

Lodreu

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