Merit Giving?

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Motova
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Merit Giving?

Postby Motova » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:16 pm

I was wondering if ya'll think it is possible to give merit to other beings by doing practices for them? This is concerning my family. My mom classifies herself as an Anglican, my dad is agnostic (but doesn't show much interest in religion), my brother is a Gnostic (so I'm not worried about him), and my dog is obviously unable to do anything religious. It struck me a week ago that my dog was half way through his life (most likely), and that my dad is a bit older than his dad when he died (of a heart attack due to high blood pressure, which my dad already has). My dad says he doesn't have time to read or really try to find himself spiritually as he works really hard to maintain our current lifestyle and to keep us from losing our house (which is true). He is honestly very patient, kind, and selfless and I think he would make a great Buddhist. I made him promise me to read the Dalai Lama's book called, "How to See Yourself as You Really Are". I'm not trying to convert him to Buddhism, I only want him to reflect on life and those 'essential questions' (honestly I would be happy if he took an interest in any religion).

So basically I'm asking if it's possible for me to directly influence and better their next birth? Any mantras or prayers? Anything?

:namaste:

/Dylan

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kirtu
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby kirtu » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:47 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Grigoris
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Grigoris » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:53 pm

The best way to influence people is to change yourself. This will influence the way you interact with people and thus will influence the outcome of your (and their) interaction.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:37 pm

Really nice question!

I think the best thing is just try to help them, rather than worrying about how they see the world, at least for now. I have struggled with similar stuff. This will be better for all of you than trying to help them find religion, especially your Dad, it sounds like he has a reasonably busy life, with some definite weight placed on his shoulders. Anything you can do for him will not only alleviate some of the pressure, but in turn maybe give him some time to "figure things out" or whatever. If someone wants to discuss Dharma or spirituality..awesome, but seriously the most likely way to save most people from their suffering is just to do what little you can to alleviate some of it.

It sounds corny and cliche, but if you can act altruistically for them (never easy, but it's the key to a "real" practice i'm coming to believe), the acts will tflip something on in you, and they will see that, this will do more to at least generate respect - if not interest- in your spiritual pursuits.
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Konchog1
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:52 pm

You can lead a man to Buddha, but you can't make him meditate.

So, what Greg said.
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

Motova
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Motova » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:53 pm

Thanks for the quick answers. I have been blowing on my dog and his cookies after reciting my mantras in an effort to plant some karmic seeds (term coined by Tsem Rinpoche in one of his videos) in him for his future lives, but I was doubting the effect. Could I do that for my whole family if I blew in the fridge or in their rooms? :twothumbsup:

:namaste:

/Dylan

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Konchog1
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:18 am

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

Motova
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Motova » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:17 am


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Jesse
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Jesse » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:55 am

So much for temple donations. :o
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

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Admin_PC
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Admin_PC » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:09 am

My first response was "why not 'trick' him into performing meritorious actions?"
Tell him you want to do some sort of charity project, like helping out at a soup kitchen or something, and ask him to help you out.
At the very least, it might help him forget himself a little while.

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GrahamR
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby GrahamR » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:35 pm


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kirtu
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:23 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

dude
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby dude » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:48 pm


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KathyLauren
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby KathyLauren » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:53 pm

Dedicating your merit to others is a good thing to do. It doesn't do them any direct good - Buddhism is not a magical spell. However, it does you good. Dedicating your merit to others makes you a better influence on them.

Om mani padme hum
Keith

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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:09 pm

I don't think the correct attitude with dedication of merits or tonglen etc should be "this is just symbolic" either, however.

The core intuition of the Mahayana is that we're all in the same boat together.

dude
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby dude » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:40 pm


cataractmoon
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby cataractmoon » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:34 am


Alfredo
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Re: Merit Giving?

Postby Alfredo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:30 am

You have been blessed with a tolerant, devoted, hard-working father. I'm sure he'll do fine in the afterlife. But it's good that you appreciate him now, while there's time.
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