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DCI Field of Merit Sponsorship

“When you have a lot of merit, even those things that would be impossible for normal people, can happen to you… It is all due to merit. The whole answer is merit… Generally, when you have more merit everything goes more smoothly in your life: you have fewer difficulties, less problems and more success.”

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Spiritual Director of FPMT and DCI

On This Page

On this page you will find:

Introduction

 

What is merit? “Positive imprints left on the mind by virtuous, or Dharma, actions. The principal cause of happiness.” (LYWA Glossary)

 

How can we create merit? There are limitless ways to create merit through virtuous actions done with one’s body, speech and mind.

Having a good motivation is very important. Dedicating the merit is also very important. In addition to other dedications it is very powerful to dedicate for the full enlightenment of all sentient beings.

Then by reflecting on the reality that I, action, object are all empty of even an atom of inherent existence you seal the merits with emptiness and this helps to protect the merit from being destroyed or weakened through arising anger or heresy afterwards.

 

What is a field of merit? Just as people obtain what they wish from planting seeds and growing crops in ordinary fields, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains, “similarly, by making offerings and doing prostrations to the merit field of Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, you plant the seed of merit, or good karma, in order to receive all temporal and ultimate happiness and perfections.”

By planting the seed of merit in this field, you are able to accomplish the three great purposes: a perfect human body in order to practice the holy Dharma in your next life, the cessation of samsara and full enlightenment. All happiness, including these three great purposes, comes from merit.”

(Excerpted from Perfect Freedom: The Great Value of Being Human, by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche)

Dorje Chang Institute is a powerful field of merit.

DCI is:

  • part of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s mandala
  • a place where the Holy Dharma is taught to sentient beings
  • a place where there are holy objects existing (stupa, prayer wheel, Buddha statues, etc.)
  • a place where Sangha members reside, practice, offer service and teach
  • a place where fellow Dharma students put effort into putting the teachings into practice.

The Purpose

To give everyone who wishes the opportunity to create unimaginable merit to support all happiness and realizations up to enlightenment for oneself and others we have gathered together a handful of specific opportunities to create merit in relation to karmically powerful objects at DCI.

You can choose:

  • what projects you would like to offer to,
  • how much you would like to offer,
  • and the dedications you would like us to include at one of our DCI pujas.

Brief Overview of Current Opportunities

The specific sponsorship opportunities will change for each time period. For the current time period from end of July through end of September 2019 (which includes such powerful days as the Wheel Turning Buddha Day and International Sangha Day on 4 August 2019), they include sponsoring:

  • Light offerings outside at the Stupa and Prayer Wheel, light offerings on the verandha outside the Gompa and Library and path lighting
  • Dharma printing of new, updated Long Life Prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • DCI Sangha Support: In honour of International Sangha Day people are welcome to make a donation towards the basic costs of food, shelter (including heating, etc.), transport and medicine for our DCI Sangha members
  • Practical centre needs such as a dehumidifier to help maintain our Prayer Wheel room, Library, Gompa, office, rooms, etc. as well as additional umbrellas (which are available for use at DCI on rainy days, used by the Sangha, volunteers, lent out to students on rainy nights, etc.)

“Helping the centre also becomes an offering to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and by offering to the Buddha—wow, wow, wow, wow, wow…. it is mentioned in the Compassionate Buddha Sutras: ‘The Tathagata Buddha has immeasurable qualities, Offering to the tathagatas also has immeasurable benefits that are endless, Inconceivable, incomparable, unfathomable and numberless.’ Offering to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is unbelievable. So you should think like this when you give the money. You should think this is offering to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.”

From The Benefits of Supporting the Centre and Sangha, LYWA

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Spiritual Director of FPMT and DCI

Full Details, Photos & Benefits

Opportunities for the Current Time Period:  End of July through end of September 2019

Please note: that if we receive more money than is needed for any particular category then we will use any excess funds for one of the other sponsorship opportunities.

Festoon and Other Lighting

The lighting opportunities include:

  • brand new Festoon Lighting around the outside of the Prayer Wheel Room that will be offered to both the Stupa and the Prayer Wheel,
  • repair (and replacement as needed) of two of the Stupa spotlights, as well as new lightbulbs,
  • installation of two new sensor lights to provide lighting to pathways at DCI (one outside of the Prayer Wheel Room and wiring in one at end of building near small prayer wheel),
  • and wiring in of light at front entrance at Flag Pole.

Contributions sponsoring this would go towards all costs involved: the lights themselves, hardware, installation, electrician costs and extra could also go to sponsoring the electricity costs to offering the illuminating lights.

The Benefits of Offering Light

“If we want to develop Dharma wisdom, then offer light.”

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains, “It is mentioned that if we make offerings of light… we collect numberless great merits … you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom… And offering light just one time to Buddha creates the karma to have great wealth for many hundreds or thousands of lifetimes … [We also attain] a higher rebirth, in a pure land. We quickly achieve nirvana, and not only nirvana but also the great nirvana, enlightenment. These are the benefits of offering light.”

Colophon: Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche during a teaching in Singapore in 2013. (www.lamayeshe.com/article/benefits-making-offerings)

New Long Life Prayers for His Holiness

Following advice from Rinpoche, that was introduced at the recent retreat in France (May-June 2019), we will be updating our short long life prayer for His Holiness. Additionally there is a new translation from Thupten Jinpa of the long version of His Holinesses long life prayer. We welcome sponsorship towards printing the following:

  • the new updated 2019 booklet: Prayers for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama And to Be Able to Fulfill All His Advice with a colour cover, including short prayer and Thupten Jinpa’s translation of the long prayer. FPMT Education Office is currently finishing up a couple of further updates to this booklet which we plan to print once it is completed.
  • inserts for our other prayer books, etc. with the new long life prayer for His Holiness that Rinpoche is now using in place of the previous one (also sponsorship will cover the materials necessary to insert these into the existing books, etc.)

At the retreat in France (May-June 2019), Rinpoche explained that the previous prayer refers only to “In the land encircled by snow mountains,” meaning Tibet, whereas His Holiness is so important to the WHOLE WORLD, and so the new prayer is in terms of “Source of every single benefit and happiness in this world.”

The Preciousness of His Holiness

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche praised His Holiness:

“Your Holiness is the great treasure of infinite compassion embracing all us sentient beings, the sole source of benefit and happiness of all us sentient beings, the sole refuge of all us sentient beings. Your Holiness is incomparably kinder to us than all the past, present and future Buddhas… We thank You from the bottom of our hearts, and we request You to have stable life until samsara ends… With our palms together we pray again for You to guide us continuously in all our lifetimes until we achieve enlightenment.”

Excerpted from In Praise of Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, written by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and offered to His Holiness in 1996 in Sydney, Australia.

DCI Sangha Support

Support for essentials such as food, shelter, medicine, heating, transportation and other basic needs of our precious DCI Sangha is most welcome. We also try to support the educational and retreat needs of our Sangha, helping to provide excellent conditions for them to have access to opportunities to be able to develop their Dharma listening, reflection and meditation. Donations will also be used for these needs. Our Sangha are a precious and important part of Dorje Chang Institute and it is important for us to continue to create the causes to have Sangha at DCI – supporting the classes, pujas, activities and students in their practice. Also, because the Sangha hold vows, they are a powerful object of merit. As Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, “Offering to the Sangha creates unbelievable benefit.” Contributions of any amount are most welcome.

The Importance of Supporting the Sangha

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains that “sentient beings receive all the peace and happiness up to enlightenment by serving the teachings of Buddha, so that the teachings exist continually and develop, and also by serving the Sangha, who preserve and spread Dharma in this world.”

Practical Needs:

Dehumidifier & Umbrellas

Dorje Chang Institute could benefit from another dehumidifier to help keep Auckland dampness at bay! This would be very useful for our Prayer Wheel Room, Library, Meditation Hall and other rooms at the centre, including rooms that we rent out for accommodation. This is a very practical offering! It will help to maintain our holy objects, places of study, reflection and meditation as well as help support the health of sentient beings. Additionally DCI’s old umbrellas have mostly either degenerated or simply disappeared so we need to invest in some new ones! Umbrellas are available for use at DCI on rainy days, used by the Sangha, volunteers, lent out to students on rainy nights, etc.

Cherishing even ONE sentient being...

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains,

“if one cherishes even one sentient being, that leads you to enlightenment. If one practices compassion to one sentient being, if one cherishes one sentient being, that leads you to enlightenment, that purifies so much obscurations and accumulates so much merit… serving even one sentient being accumulates unbelievable merit and itself becomes incredible purification, purifying the obscurations, so cherishing even one sentient being, so that leads, that makes possible, that leads to enlightenment.”

Excerpted from “Cherising Others” by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/cherishing-other-sentient-beings , Light editing by Ven Gyalten Wangmo

Inspiring Teachings on the Merit Field

Click on subsequent topics to expand those brief teachings.

What is a field of merit?

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains, “People survive and obtain their enjoyments through planting seeds of corn, potatoes and rice in fields… A field is recognized as very precious and to be taken care of because you can use it to plant crops.

“Similarly, by making offerings and doing prostrations to the merit field of Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, you plant the seed of merit, or good karma, in order to receive all temporal and ultimate happiness and perfections. By planting the seed of merit in this field, you are able to accomplish the three great purposes: a perfect human body in order to practice the holy Dharma in your next life, the cessation of samsara and full enlightenment. All happiness, including these three great purposes, comes from merit.”

Excerpted from Perfect Freedom: The Great Value of Being Human, by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche 

The merit field of the Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is more precious than any external field

Rinpoche explains, “Receiving enjoyments – even a good harvest – depends on accumulating merit. The guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are the field in which you plant the seed of merit. You should actually cherish this field as much more precious than any external field.

“Lama Tsongkapa says in The Great Lam-rim Commentary:

“Worldly people feel it a great loss if they don’t plant a field from which they have the opportunity to receive crops once or twice a year. For planting the seed of merit in the merit field of guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, there is no such thing as a season; planting does not depend on the season. Four times each day you can plant the seed of merit in this holy field.

“Lama Tsongkapa is saying that each day you can plant the seed of merit to accomplish the three great purposes, and any other happiness you wish. Four times each day, all the time, you have the opportunity to plant the seed of merit in the supreme holy field of guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Lama Tsongkapa says that being careless and not taking the opportunity to do this is a much greater loss than being unable to plant crops in an ordinary field.”

Excerpted from Perfect Freedom: The Great Value of Being Human, by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche 

You can create the causes of happiness anytime, as much as you wish

“Not only four times a day, but every hour, every minute, every second, you can plant the seed of merit, the cause of happiness. With an ordinary field, you first plant something, then have to wait until it ripens; you cannot plant again while a crop is already there. Among all fields, the holy field of merit is the supreme field. There is no interference from the side of the object preventing you from accumulating merit. The interference is only from your own side, if you do not accumulate merit and create the cause of happiness in your relationship with these holy objects.”

Excerpted from Perfect Freedom: The Great Value of Being Human, by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche 

There is also the merit field of sentient beings

“As well as the holy merit field, there is also the field of sentient beings in which you can plant the seed of merit. You can also create the cause of happiness in dependence upon the field of sentient beings. Just as you receive crops by planting seed in a field, by planting the seed of merit in the holy merit field and the field of sentient beings, you receive all temporal and ultimate happiness.”

Excerpted from Perfect Freedom: The Great Value of Being Human, by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche 

Manjushri's Advice to Lama Tsongkhapa

“Lama Tsongkhapa asked Manjushri what method one should attempt in order to quickly generate the realizations. Manjushri advised to meditate with the recognition of the Guru as inseparable from the deity, to make requests and to attempt to accumulate merit and purify obscurations.” – Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

“When one listens to the teachings, if one cannot comprehend the words; when one reflects, if one cannot understand the meaning; when one meditates, if one cannot generate the realization; when one’s mental capacity is so extremely small – depend on the power of the Merit Field.”

Lama Tsongkhapa

Founder of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism

When help is badly needed because one is overwhelmed by thick karmic obscurations, if one makes requests to the special Field, accumulates merits and purifies obscurations, then quickly it works in the right way.

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Spiritual Director of FPMT and DCI

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