Dedicating Merits to All

Yutang Lin

Knowing already to practice and accumulate merits,
Yet for selfish aims would not dedicate merits to all.
In this way self-centeredness would never die away;
The root of transmigration continues to wind and bind.


Some friends said, "Someone who practices Taoism and Buddhism advised them not to dedicate merits of their practices toward others." This kind of advice is rooted in selfish considerations; it seems to teach self-protection yet in fact confines people deeply. Selfish motive is the root of transmigration in suffering. When such a root of sorrows is endlessly grasped, how could there be harmony with the great Tao, and how could the selfless right enlightenment be attained? Be it Taoist or Buddhist teachings, there is no place for such absurd views. Not to mention the fact that Buddhist merits are rooted in Bodhicitta. If for selfish considerations one does not dedicate merits toward all sentient beings, then whatever is practiced would be of no merits at all. Whatever we do, when viewed from the Dharmadhatu, remains insignificantly minute. It all depends on boundless motivation and equal dedication to all for our tiny deeds to yield the so-called "merits." May all who has the opportunity to read this article learn to constantly practice the dedication: May all sentient beings soon attain perfect enlightenment.

Written in Chinese on December 27, 2000
Translated on December 28, 2000
El Cerrito, California

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