The practice of Dedication of Merits is chanted by the Buddha Gate assembly during ceremonies, and at the conclusion of every meditation class. What are the merits we are dedicating, and to whom are they directed?
The merits we dedicate are from our good deeds, altruistic thoughts, and pure mind. We dedicate the merits to all sentient beings. This, along with good conditions, will help their positive karma develop into a positive effect.
There are many other forms of merits we can dedicate, such as chanting the Three Refuges or sutras.
To whom can we dedicate merits? We can dedicate merits to any person, any group, and all sentient beings. Through a sincere and concentrated mind, we can help others by offering our positive thoughts to them. We can direct merits to a family member or friend – whether living or deceased. For example, we can dedicate merits for a good outcome to someone facing adversity, or to deceased relatives to increase their awareness of the Buddha Dharma for rebirth into a higher realm.
If there is suffering somewhere else in the world because of a natural disaster or human-caused suffering, we may feel helpless. However, besides material support we can make a difference by dedicating merits. These are not bound by physical limits. Imagine the power of dedicating merits to all sentient beings when the assembly recites a sutra in complete concentration.
Think about it. Since dedicating merits is karma made by you, what could be some of the resulting effects?