Rinpoche on Accumulation
Dear Vajra brothers and sisters,
merit, merit, merit. There can never be too much of that. To even glimpse the truth of the need to practice Dharma, to be able to even remember refuge, we already need merit. It is one of the two accumulations we hear about and make wishes for in practices like the Monlam or Ngondro. Merit is like the fuel for any activity on the path. And luckily for us, as opposed to the other accumulation, wisdom, it isn’t infinitely hard to acquire and accumulate. On the contrary, it’s actually rather easy.
Every scrap of practice we do, from circumambulation, making offerings, prostrations, prayers, or mindful breathing, generates a little bit of that precious fuel. And at the end of each practice session we dedicate the merit we generated to the benefit of all sentient beings, which connects it with Bodhicitta and ‘saves’ it, if you will, from negativity we might manifest subsequently and that would destroy the merit.
So far, so good. Still sounds tedious, doesn’t it. All the practice we have to do, all the offerings we have to make, to generate that merit. Then why did I say it’s easy?
There are a number of very powerful methods we can use to turn up the volume on our merit generation.
One of these is the group practice. You may be familiar with the fact that in a group practice session every participant receives the merit of the whole session, that is, of all participants.
A turbo-version of that principle is the joint accumulation project, most often in the form of a ‘Mani Accumulation,’ which usually aims at 100 million mantras. In these joint accumulations the merit of the full 100 million mantras is shared out to each and every single participant. So, even if you just contributed one single mantra, and it is included in the dedication, you receive the full merit. Two recent examples of such projects are the Mani Project 2015 with over 130 million and the FireBirdYear Mani Project 2017 with over 160 million Manis. More about that in a minute.
The Auspicious Dog Year Accumulation we’re holding on Dharma.online this year is such a joint accumulation project. And it is not restricted to any particular practice. Any Dharma practice you do generates merit and can be entered into the accumulation. Thus I strongly encourage all my students and friends around the world to log any and all practices you are doing anyway, and maybe use the opportunity of the real-time visibility of the accumulation’s progress to strengthen your motivation and aspiration to practice just a little more and more diligently.
We have seen the power of online counting during the Mani Project 2015, where over 130 million Manis were accumulated in a little over three weeks, to a good part bolstered by the fact that everybody involved could see their own counts, their centers’ counts, and even their countries’ counts grow (or stagnate, as the case may be) and draw motivation from that. To do just a little more practice today to move their center up by a slot, or get through that next million or ten globally, over the weekend.
These sound like worldly motivations, ambition, competition, shame, to name just a few, and yes, they are. But if they help us accumulate that most precious of all substances in all of samsara, merit, then we can accept their presence for a while longer.
So, brothers and sisters, come and join the accumulation and log any and all practices that you do at https://dharma.online to make sure you’re part of the dedications and share in the merit!
I’ll be sharing more about dedication of merit soon. There’s more methods to be had and used there.
All the best wishes for your practice and accumulations!
Yours in the Dharma, Dupseng Rinpoche.