Dedicating One’s Practice
and One’s Life to Others

This is a tall order – and challenging –
but we have to start somewhere!

In Buddhism, there are prayers at the end of a session to dedicate the merit (blessings) received from the practice to all sentient beings. It is a wish that all sentient being realise happiness and their enlightened nature, and have unlimited compassion for all.

Dedication is important because it stops us clinging to the practices of self interest. If everyone was enlightened, wouldn’t it a great place?

Unfortunately, there is a danger of just repeating something stuck on the end of each practice session, when it should really be taken to heart. This will produce the energy and confidence to face life, and reinforce the enthusiasm to continue practising.

It’a all to do with a good heart

It doesn’t matter how knowledgable, learned and clever-sounding others may be, what is needed is a good heart. We can be as thick as a short plank, and still have a good heart. Funnily enough, it is easy to lose that good heart when becoming ‘spiritual’, as information can get in the way. Actually, that’s not funny, but it happens all the time.

Never lose a good heart to the pride of learning and academic achievement.

I was once a student at a school of philosophy, and was up on some scaffolding, decorating. I looked down and saw an older student carrying a heavy load. The instinct was to jump down and take that load, but doubt came in, in the form of “It’s his karma.” What sort of karma had I just produced?!

Goodness without God is good.
Goodness with God is good.
Goodness is goodness.
The word goodness is not easy to define.
There is just a rightness about it.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious seems to sum it up…
extraordinarily good.

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  1. marcel says:

    This is a great post Tony. “It’a all to do with a good heart”, pretty much so, sums it up. Thanks Tony!

  2. marcel says:

    Glad you bring this up. I see the importance of dedicating One’s Life to Others and by doing so creating an infinite space to welcoming the world. I’m still struggling with injustice and plain evil. The empty mind is a devil’s place, as they used to say in India..

    • tony says:

      Ah, but in an empty mind the devil’s games are easily seen! 😀


    • tony says:

      Hello again Marcel! Let’s see if we can knock this problem of how to deal with an unjust world on the head…
      Since mankind came onto this planet, there has been murder, theft, rape, battles, deception, manipulation – and a lot of taxation ;-)!
      When we are dead, this will continue, despite the fact that we all wish it wasn’t the case. And as long as we’re not taking part in it through following The Eightfold Path of right livelihood etc, we are at least doing something.
      We can be aware of our true nature. We can then help others to become aware also, and in time, the knock-on effect of that could mean that the world moves out of the dark age.
      All we can do is not become distracted from our path; this is the realisation of our true nature of happiness – which is also the true nature of all sentient beings.
      Even the Buddhas can’t do anything about the stupidity of human existence. It’s up to every individual to recognise suffering and the causes of suffering, thereby finding a path and engaging in practice.
      In many small ways, we can each do something. As the Buddha said,
      “Do good.
      Do no harm.
      Tame the mind.”

  3. marcel says:

    Hello Tony, yes it’s a major part of life and we have to deal with it. Jérôme Bosch’, temptation of St. Antoine, comes to mind. It’s basically the temptation of Jérôme Bosch, with his autoportrait, in the middle of the left pane. Demons everywhere and seeing through their games doesn’t prevent them from stopping or leaving. The contrary is the case. Keeping inner peace and a good heart are quite challenging is this age of kali yuga. But I agree, it’s the right path, to deal with it.

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