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:

  1. Generosity
  2. Discipline or Ethics
  3. Patience
  4. Diligence
  5. Meditation
  6. Wisdom



Related Courses

Phakchok Rinpoche
The Four Foundations practices form the gateway for the Traditional Vajrayana path. Each element purifies the body, speech, and mind.
Guided by translator Oriane Lavole, this course helps students connect with the Tibetan language and its rich dharmic context.
Drupla Sonam Tsering
Teachings on the Seed of Supreme Awakening, the extensive Ngöndro of the Lamé Tukdrup Barché Künsel.
Tulku Migmar Tsering
In this teaching series, Tulku Migmar Tsering provides detailed teaching and commentary on Gyalse Tokme Zangpo’s 37 Bodhisattva Practices.
Dr. David Shlim gently guides us to make the connection between relaxed open mind and natural compassion.
Phakchok Rinpoche
This support program offers video and audio teachings on the Vajrayana practice of fragrant smoke offerings.
Matthew Zalichin
Approach the Buddha’s teachings gradually, learning how to integrate study, reflection, and meditation.