Teacher: the Very Venerable Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Date and Place: July 21, 2005, Flushing, New York

Dedication is very important. If you generate merits from prostration and
meditation, and don’t dedicate, then merit becomes small. If you have anger,
your merit becomes smaller. If you take pride and show off, like “I did ten
thousand chants, and you didn’t”. If you show off like that, then there will be no
merit or benefit left. Or if you have regret, like you see a beggar and you feel sad
and you give one hundred dollars to him. And when you return home, you regret
and think “Oh my God! One hundred dollars is a lot! Better I should not give one
hundred dollars because instead I can buy soap, tea, a toothbrush and many
things I can put inside the refrigerator”.

Actually, if you dedicate your merits, you then have some independent
power (from loosing the merit). However, if you don’t dedicate, then merit
becomes less. If you dedicate your merit, then even if you have these three
situations like anger, pride and regret, they will not destroy your merits. That’s
why I’ll teach you how to dedicate. First you need to think all the Buddha, and
Bodhisattvas know about your dedication, and by just thinking (because Buddha
and Bodhisattvas are omniscient and know about your dedication), you can use
them as witnesses of your dedication. If you like, you can imagine them in front
of you; but if you don’t like to imagine, no problem! Because Buddha and
Bodhisattvas are omniscient so you just have to think all the Buddhas know you.
Then after that, you have to think that the Buddha, and Bodhisattvas dedicate all
the time and they have merit all the time. Then think that you are going to do like
them. Your dedication follows their dedication. You imitate them to dedicate your
merits. I have done prostration, meditation and refuge, and I will do dedication
because these are good actions. From good actions, you generate good energy
that benefits yourself and others. That’s merit. Now I am going to share all merits
with sentient beings. I am going to share all my merit with each and every
sentient being. At the same time, I am giving it along with Buddha and
Bodhisattvas’ merits, and all the merits combined together to be given to all
sentient beings. May they be free from all obstacles like disease and problems
with mind and body. Finally, may they reach Buddha hood. For these reasons, I
am going to dedicate merit to all sentient beings and all the Buddha and
Bodhisattvas will grant me this wish and say, “may it come true”.

When we practice, we need to practice with Bodichitta, not only practice
for one’s self, but also for all sentient beings to reach Buddha hood. For this
reason, I am going to practice. That’s Bodichitta. Then, at the end of practice,
one needs to share all merits with all sentient beings. That’s Dedication. If you
are truthful to these practices, then benefit from your practices accumulates more
and more each day. You benefit from your own practice because of your
dedication to others. Then if you have regret such as giving one hundred dollars
to a beggar, you will have dedicated your merit. You may have regrets when you
get home, and it will not affect your merit. It is better to not have regrets