Buddhist Philosophy

~ June 25, 2015 ~

The Importance of Accumulating Merit

Buddhist Philosophy • audio

Accumulating Merit–Why Bother?


As beginners, we may often 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.


We should stop to seriously contemplate Rinpoche’s message…

The accumulation of merit brings Buddhahood“!

Then if we take this teaching to heart, we can joyfully gather merit.  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 know we need to begin all activities with that intention.  But, what are good actions?  Here he 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

Related Teachings

Additional Methods to Support Your Practice

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

Rinpoche calls attention to the accumulation of merit. 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]

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