Buddhist Philosophy

The Importance of Accumulating Merit

As beginning Buddhist practitioners, we may make the mistake of undervaluing the accumulation of merit. Sometimes we misunderstand and think we only need to accumulate wisdom. We “just want to meditate!” But in this short pith instruction, Phakchok Rinpoche recalls the specific benefits of accumulating merit. And he reminds us how vital it is to our success on the path.

Listen to the Audio

Buddhahood

Let’s take a moment to seriously contemplate Rinpoche’s message here:

The accumulation of merit brings Buddhahood!

Let those words sink in, and then we can take this teaching to heart. And we can joyfully gather merit because we now remember how important this practice is. Because we remember the value, we will be ready to embrace the wide diversity of practices and activities available to us.

Here, Rinpoche defines accumulation of merit as the combination of good motivation and good action. Motivation means the proper mindset. And we probably all know we need to begin all activities with that intention. But, what are good actions?  

Let’s review now as Rinpoche enumerates the six perfections or pāramitās of the Mahāyāna path.

Six Perfections

  1. Generosity
  2. Discipline or Ethics
  3. Patience
  4. Diligence
  5. Meditation
  6. Wisdom

Additional Ways to Support Your Practice

The Dharma-stream Program and Dharma-stream Group Study and Support System

Rinpoche calls attention to the accumulation of merit. Often it can be helpful to participate in such practices in a group setting. We can learn from our more experienced Dharma siblings about making offerings and other merit-gathering practices.

In The Dharma-Stream Program, we begin each session in an appropriate setting with offerings to the Triple Gem. And we take the time to check our motivation and to do supplication chants.  Dharma-stream teachings include discussions of merit and offerings. And Rinpoche consistently discusses the importance of outward forms of practice.  We can gain familiarity with these practices and feel supported by our fellow sangha members.

The Dharma-stream program is available to all Dharma-stream Groups.  It contains an ongoing series of teachings from Phakchok Rinpoche, covering the entire Buddhist path in a progressive format.  For information on finding a study group near you or forming your own group, please click here.

If you have any questions or need support regarding the Dharma-stream program and/or the Dharma-stream Groups, please contact [email protected]

Authentic Shrine and Ritual Items

If you are looking for authentic shrine offering supplies, we suggest that you browse the beautifully crafted items at https://akaracollection.com/collections/shrine-ritual.

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