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.
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. We can also be skillful about the methods we employ to multiply merit and then dedicate that to the benefit of all sentient beings.
Here, Rinpoche defines the 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: