About dedicating merit

About dedicating merit

Postby qwerty13 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:43 am

I have been doing pure land practices for a week now and moment ago for my horror i realized that i have been dedicating my merits into wrong direction ( "May this merit be dedicated for all sentient beings supreme enlightenment") . D`oh!!

If you are trying to gain rebirth in the pure land of amitabha should you dedicate merit by saying "I am dedicating this merit for my rebirth in the pure land of amitabha" or should it be more Mahayana style " I am dedicating this merit for my AND other sentient beings rebirth in the pure land of amitabha".

Plus, is there a way to redirect that merit I earlier accumulated and which I send into wrong direction?

Thanks.
People love emotional confusion. Just look at the film posters in front of the cinema: nothing but emotional confusion on their faces. Buddha-dharma means not putting yourself at the mercy of emotional confusion. In the world, on the other hand, a big fuss is made over nothing.

-Kodo Sawaki
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Re: About dedicating merit

Postby PorkChop » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:24 am

Part of that merit dedication is activating the Bodhi mind (bodhicitta), wanting to be Enlightened for the sake of helping others to become Enlightened.
The Longer Sukhavati Sutra implores practitioners to aspire for bodhicitta:
Rulu's translation wrote:The Three Classes to Be Reborn
“Buddha-Tathāgatas in worlds in the ten directions, who are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, each praise Amitāyus Buddha’s inconceivable awesome spirit and merit. If sentient beings that hear His name elicit faith and joy in but one thought and, with an earnest wish for rebirth in that land, transfer their merits to others, they will be reborn there and attain the spiritual level of no regress. Excepted are those who have committed any of the five rebellious sins or maligned the true Dharma.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Gods and humans in worlds in the ten directions who earnestly wish to be reborn in that land are grouped into three classes. In the high class are those who have renounced family life, abandoned desires, and become śramaṇas. They should activate the bodhi mind and constantly think only of Amitāyus Buddha. They should accumulate merit and resolve to be reborn in His land.

“When they die, Amitāyus Buddha, together with a holy multitude, will appear before them, and they will follow that Buddha to His land. They will be naturally reborn in lotus flowers made of the seven treasures, and they will abide in the spiritual level of no regress. Their wisdom will be keen, and they will have command of transcendental powers. Therefore, Ānanda, if there are sentient beings that wish to see Amitāyus Buddha in their present life, they should activate the unsurpassed bodhi mind, accumulate merit, and resolve to be reborn in His land.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “In the middle class are gods and humans in worlds in the ten directions who earnestly wish to be reborn in that land, but are unable to become śramaṇas and to accumulate merit on a large scale. They should activate the unsurpassed bodhi mind and constantly think only of Amitāyus Buddha as they cultivate goodness on a smaller scale. They should observe the pure precepts, erect memorial towers, enshrine Buddha images, offer food to śramaṇas, hang silk screens, light lamps, scatter flowers, and burn incense. With a wish for rebirth in that land, they should transfer their merits to others.

“When they die, Amitāyus Buddha will magically manifest a copy of Himself, who is just as radiant and splendid as a real Buddha, to appear, together with a holy multitude, before them. They will follow this magically manifested Buddha to His land, and will abide in the spiritual level of no regress. Their merit and wisdom will be below those in the high class.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “In the low class are gods and humans in worlds in the ten directions who earnestly wish to be reborn in that land. Although they are unable to acquire various merits, they should activate the unsurpassed bodhi mind and, with a wish for rebirth in that land, single-mindedly think ten thoughts of Amitāyus Buddha. If they hear the profound Dharma, they should delight and believe in it without raising doubts. Even if they think only one thought of that Buddha, with utmost sincerity they should resolve to be reborn in His land. When they die, they will dream of that Buddha and will be reborn in His land. Their merit and wisdom are below those in the middle class.”


In fact, the 19th vow of Dharmakara is:
Rulu's translation wrote:19. After I become a Buddha, in worlds in the ten directions, there will be sentient beings that activate the bodhi mind, acquire merit, and earnestly wish to be reborn in my land. If I should not appear, surrounded by a holy multitude, before them at their death, I would not attain the perfect enlightenment.


There's also this phrase in verse:
Rulu's translation wrote:Seeing that His well-adorned Pure Land is
So wondrous and inconceivable,
They (bodhisattvas) hereupon activate the unsurpassed bodhi mind,
Each wishing the land [he will form] to be the same.
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Re: About dedicating merit

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:34 am

May this merit be dedicated for all sentient beings supreme enlightenment
How will all beings attain Enlightenment? By your attaining Enlightenment and guiding them. How will you attain Enlightenment? By your practice of Amitabha.

If you like you can dedicate by praying: May I attain Enlightenment in Sukhavati for the sake of all beings.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: About dedicating merit

Postby PorkChop » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:47 am

Konchog1 wrote:
May this merit be dedicated for all sentient beings supreme enlightenment
How will all beings attain Enlightenment? By your attaining Enlightenment and guiding them. How will you attain Enlightenment? By your practice of Amitabha.

If you like you can dedicate by praying: May I attain Enlightenment in Sukhavati for the sake of all beings.


My merit dedication is the FPMT's merit dedication tacked on to the end of a typical Pure Land merit dedication, with some verbage to bridge the two.
The one you give here is so much more direct and to the point. Thanks! :)
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Re: About dedicating merit

Postby qwerty13 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:30 pm

Konchog1 wrote:If you like you can dedicate by praying: May I attain Enlightenment in Sukhavati for the sake of all beings.


OK, thank you for answer!
People love emotional confusion. Just look at the film posters in front of the cinema: nothing but emotional confusion on their faces. Buddha-dharma means not putting yourself at the mercy of emotional confusion. In the world, on the other hand, a big fuss is made over nothing.

-Kodo Sawaki
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Re: About dedicating merit

Postby Nosta » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Porkchop, thanks!

By the way, what means FPMT?
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Re: About dedicating merit

Postby plwk » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:54 pm

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Re: About dedicating merit

Postby Nosta » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:45 pm

Thanks :)
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