(Part five: ) Dedication (of Merit) Meditation Practice
This is the last of the FiveFold path of Mahamudra.
“Dedicate without the interruption of other thoughts. If you wish to benefit and bring happiness to the migrators, dedicate with love, compassion, and bodhichitta. If you wish to pacify the outer and inner obstacles and accomplish the actvities of the Secret Mantra, dedicate by seeing yourself in the form of the yidam deity. If you wish to appease and be accepted by the guru, and achieve his excellent qualities, then dedicate with in the state of devotion to him. If you wish to progress in the realization, experience, and inseperablity of meditation and post-meditation, then dedicate within the equipoise of mahamudra. Thus, say, “May I and all sentient beings achieve unsurpassable, perfect, complete enlightenment.” If you seal the dedication in this way, you will accomplish according to this dedication.”
Dedicate without the interruption of other thoughts when you write or read dharma books. First, cultivate bodhichitta with a mind free from all negative thoughts. Then, do your session of mediation or reading or writing. Then at the end, without interruption, dedicate. Following are the different ways to dedicate.
If one wishes to benefit and bring happiness to all the migrators – This is all sentient beings – dedicate with love, compassion, and bodhichitta. First, put in mind the thought, “may all sentient beings be free from suffering, and may I experience enlightenment.” With all virtues in your heart, and all virtues accumulated, dedicate, thinking “may all sentient beings be free from samsara and get enlightenment.” Because of that mind, it makes a connection to help sentient beings. It is a beautiful thing, you know?
(Khenchen Rinpoche also taught this at another teaching in this way: Dedicating these virtues with love, compassion, and bodhicitta, without concern for our own well-being, causes the flourishing of our activities that benefit sentient beings.)
If you wish to pacify the outer and inner obstacles and accomplish the actvities of the Secret Mantra, dedicate by seeing yourself in the form of the yidam deity. See yourself manifest in the form of a yidam, any yidam you have. Cultivate that, and see it vividly. That manifestation of self as the yidam is how to get rid of outer and inner obstacles. With that mind, Dedicate that all virtues collected in the three times by all achieve enlightenment and be free from samsara.
(Khenchen Rinpoche also taught this at another teaching in this way: Dedicating these virtues while visualizing yourself in the state of the yidam deity causes freedom from all the obstacles and unfavorable conditions while benefitting beings.)
If you wish to appease and be accepted by the guru, and achieve his excellent qualities, then dedicate within the state of devotion to him. Think of your root guru in the form of Vajradhara or Lord Jitgon Sumgon in heart or in front of you. With strong devotion, with no wavering, think of the inseparability of my mind and this guru. With this devotion, then all the virtues you have accumulated, dedicate. Think “By this virtue, may all sentient beings be free from samsara and achieve enlightenment.” This is a method for your mind to capture the excellent qualities of Vajradhara, the guru.
(Khenchen Rinpoche also taught this at another teaching in this way: Dedicating these virtues with strong devotion for and confidence in the root and lineage masters enhances the experience of meditation while benefitting sentient beings.)
If you wish to progress in the realization, experience, and inseperablity of meditation and post-meditation, then dedicate within the equipoise of mahamudra. As we received the empowerments and dissolved into emptiness, In that state, all the virtues that exists in samsara and nirvana, bring into that sphere. In that mandala, and free from the three poisons, think “by power of this virtue, may all sentient beings achieve enlightened and be free from suffering.” By the power of that, accumulate. That merit becomes a great instrument to realize your nature as mahamudra, and realize no difference between meditation and post-meditation.
(Khenchen Rinpoche also taught this at another teaching in this way: Dedicating these virtues in the mahamudra state free of the three spheres supports the increase of the experience of luminosity and emptiness.)
We can’t find any other text describing the dedication of merit so profoundly and directly.
Thus, say, “May I and all sentient beings achieve unsurpassable, perfect, complete enlightenment.” That is what you say, within these different states of mind. If you seal the dedication in this way, you will accomplish according to this dedication.
There are lots of projects in our life. Politicians have their projects. Business people have their projects. Scientists have their projects. In technology fields, technicians, and farmers have their projects. Everyone has their projects, what they want to accomplish in samsara. So they cultivate that mindset with that project and follow activities to accomplish. And when it is accomplished, we say ”I’m done it.” When you want a good lunch, you are eager to have good lunch. Then, you go to a restaurant or start cooking. Then when you finish, then “I’m so happy, I had a good lunch.” And that’s the end of it. We do the same thing here. First we start, then we practice, then do dedication. This way, the dedication is to achieve optimal goal, to reach that state. Until we reach all the fruition we have accumulated because we see our virtue and merit accumulated to achieve result.
Gampopa said, “we’ve done lots of dharma practice, building merit, generosity, go to the temple, but these are schemes just to achieve fame, or ‘may my business become successful’ or ‘may all my policies become successful’. Then when we are successful, we are finished there.” Dedication is how to direct your whole virtue to capture the optimal goal. Dedication is VERY important. Our whole involvement in these practices is to get free from samsara, to get enlightenment. At the beginning we cultivate bodhichitta towards that goal to achieve Buddhahood. It is not just being nice and smiling, it Is a serious project. We know how to pave the way to our goal. Then after we cultivate bodhichitta, and exercise whatever project in that direction, then at the end, we dedicate all energy accumulated to that goal. If one sees dedication in that way, will accomplish according to that.The Arya Ratnakuta sutra states: As all phenomena depend on conditions, So the goal depends on motivation. Whatever one’s aspiration, It will be achieved immediately.
It is like for a farm to grow well, we need weather in spring with the right amount of rain, and need heat and water. If a farmer put good seed in a field, then the crops will grow and will have good harvests. This Depends on conditions, like everything. How a government rules office affects the whole country. Everything depends on conditions. This is Reality. Likewise, the goal depends on the motivation.
Whatever one’s aspiration, it will be achieved immediately. If we desire complete enlightenment, and at that moment develop love and compassion, then even before we become Buddha, there is peace, harmony.
Causality is the cause of happiness and the cause of suffering. When we engage the cause of happiness, and avoid the cause of suffering, at that moment, there is peace and harmony. This is not just spiritual belief, this is reality nature. We call it ‘spiritual,’ but it is just reality. The practice of bodhichitta is not just spiritual, it is the reality nature cause of peace and happiness. This is profound, it is not just a belief. As well, it is practical. When you avoid the 10 non-virtues and practice the 10 virtues, you are not proving “I am something special.’ There is nothing special about it. It is (simply a) practical approach to achieve what we desire, and be free from what we don’t desire. In that way, we become a protector for ourselves. Everyone wants to protect themselves. But we destroy ourselves without knowing, engage in non-virtues without knowing. Ex. Drinking- drink for enjoyment, but at end, all the problems there. Not only spiritual. At mundane level, people who are drunks are down. This is why police say ‘don’t drink and drive.’ It shows there is a problem. Nothing spiritual about this. That’s what Buddha saw in reality nature of samsara and taught. You understand this way, practice this way, really get benefit. And then can establish dharma firmly in this world and give to other. If you acknowledge there is no alternative.