Whatever merit we accumulate
Through prostrating, making offerings, confessing,
Rejoicing, requesting and praying,
I dedicate to the goal of enlightenment.
How to accumulate merit
Accumulating merit is a very important part of practicing the Dharma. It allows us to open our hearts, to work on the Dhana Paramita, the practice of generosity detached from all expectation and judgement. It provides a sense of goodness and accomplishment. It also balances all our negative behaviors, gossip, actions based on anger, jealousy, greed, pride… all the impurities accumulated from the past and present.
Some ways to accumulate merit:
Support, and donate non-profit organizations like PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals:
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. Many of us bought our beloved “pets” at pet shops, had guinea pigs, and kept beautiful birds in cages. We wore wool and silk, ate McDonald’s burgers, and fished. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?
ARFF – Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, ASPCA – American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and others who educate and voice the horrors human beings do to so many animals, from laboratory testings to the slaughter of countless beings in horrid conditions in mass-production farms. Pray for the countless animals that are born in small cages where they cannot even move, and will only live a life of misery until they are slaughtered and consumed. It is deplorable. Educate people, make an effort to consume less animal products, and become aware.
* Buy CAGE FREE Eggs
* Buy products that are NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS
Help the homeless, the needy
Giving money, clothing and food to the destitute is important. I always remind myself that they are someone’s child, that no matter what the reason may be, their condition is deplorable and that if it was my child I would hope that someone reaches out and helps them.
Save animals – or at least don’t harm them
Smacking a mosquito or a fruit fly is a typical human reaction, but we should learn not to do this anymore. That thoughtless gesture deprives a being of its precious opportunity to exist. You carelessly take its life, a very precious gift, for no reason at all. Learn to respect all sentient beings, even the smallest insects, as they too have a right to enjoy their short existence on earth.
When you cross a road kill, take the time to see if the animal is injured. Maybe you can actually save it, move it to safety, bring it to the vet, adopt it, or simply chant for it if it is too late. Have compassion for them.
Free animals and insects
Humans treat animals so poorly, with such disregard. Whenever you have the opportunity to rescue an animal from abuse, from cruelty, don’t turn away. It could be a feral cat, a caged rabbit, rats sold to feed snakes, worms sold for fishing… occasionally rescuing animals from the cruelty we inflict upon them is priceless, at least for them. It also feels incredibly rewarding.
Don’t crate your dog
Make your pets part of your family. Caging a dog is an abomination. While many people will insist that it’s perfectly fine to do so, it is an abomination. Dogs are supposed to be your companions, to sleep on the sofa, or at least on a soft cover on the floor. They are supposed to mess up the house a little. Caging them makes them psychotic. They suffer in silence. Imagine caging your own child during the day… It’s horrible to be caged. Its inhuman. It’s shameful to think it acceptable. I am totally and stubbornly against this disgusting fashion of crating dogs. Open your house to them as a member of your family, not a toy to bring out when you want to.
Be generous in everything you do, every thought you have, every action. It’s that simple.
Take responsibility for your actions
Recognize all the actions, thoughts, words that are contrary to the Dharma, unethical, and confess all your faults with the wish that you will never repeat them again.
Let us know what you do to accumulate merit, share your stories and the feelings it gives you below.
Om Mani Padme Hung