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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:

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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.

The specific sponsorship opportunities will change for each time period.

Brief Overview of Current Opportunities

From end of November 2021 through February 2022 the sponsorship opportunities include:

  • New Kṣitigarbha Project: Base, engineer, roof, hoisting, landscaping, etc. to welcome the arrival of 2m gifted statue
  • Geshe-la’s Room: Professional foundation reinforcement, stabilization, internal repair and repaint
  • Stupa, Veranda and Courtyard Uplift: multiple cleaning, maintenance and repainting works
  • New Clear Outdoor Blinds for upstairs veranda
  • New Brush Stick Fencing for the front Buddha garden
  • Sangha Kitchen Sink Tap replacement

More details on the above projects can be found below.

Sponsorship of Any Amount is Most Appreciated! We rejoice in the merit of your contribution and are happy to include your dedications in a DCI puja.

Details of Sponsorship Opportunities

for end of November 2021 through February 2022

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.

New Kṣitigarbha Project

Help us welcome a large Kṣitigarbha Statue in 2022!

Kṣitigarbha is one of the eight close bodhisattva disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. These include: Manjusri, Vajrapani, Avalokitesvara, Kṣitigarbha, Savanirvarana Viskambhin, Akasagarbha, Maitreya and Samantabhadra.

Dorje Chang Institute (along with all FPMT Centres) have been offered a Kṣitigarbha Statue by a kind FPMT benefactor.

Our statue will be 2 metres tall, weight 1 ton and will be carved out of marble. The costs of the statue itself and getting it to NZ will be sponsored by the benefactor, but DCI needs to cover other costs including:

  • providing a suitable location, landscaping, etc.
  • constructing a suitable base (throne), with advice from an engineer
  • arrange for Kṣitigarbha to be carefully hoisted into position
  • as well as any other costs that may arise in facilitating this auspicious arrival

Buddha’s Praise of Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva
“You have generated stability of thought and the pure altruistic thought of bodhichitta and have eliminated the sufferings of immeasurable sentient beings. I see (sentient beings) receiving happiness as from a wish-granting jewel, and like the vajra you cut the nets of others’ doubts. You offer holy offerings to the foe destroyers, the qualified ones gone beyond, with great compassionate thought and perseverance. You liberate sentient beings from their sufferings with oceans of wisdom. Because you have no fear (delusions), you have gone beyond samsara.” – Excerpted from a short Ksitigarbha Practice

Geshe Wangchen’s Room

We need to professionally reinforce the foundation supporting Geshe-la’s room with necessary earthworks, concrete and reinforcing timbers. This will fully stabilize the support structure for the room above and prevent any future movement. When this is completed we will then repair and redecorate Geshe-la’s room.

Stupa, Veranda and Courtyard Uplift

Help us uplift the centre by accomplishing some important maintenance works. We are seeking sponsorship for labour and materials to:

  • apply Wet & Forget to the stupa concrete surfaces to help to gently remove any lichen and mould
  • repaint upstairs veranda floor
  • repaint downstairs portico walkway (of main building)
  • deep clean courtyard benches and nourish the wood with totara oil to help them last longer
  • deep clean the roof over single rooms visible from veranda

New Clear Outdoor Blinds

Help us replace the five outdoor blinds on the veranda which have been slowly disintegrating over many years of use, wind and sun – costs of materials and labour

New Brush Stick Fencing

Help us replace the brush stick fencing in the front Buddha garden which has disintegrating over many years of use, wind and sun – costs of materials and labour

Sangha Kitchen Sink Tap Replacement

Help us replace the leaking, old kitchen sink tap in the upstairs kitchen that is primarily used by Sangha as well as for the daily water bowl offerings and DCI events. – costs of materials and labour

Rejoicing in Previous Field of Merit Offerings!

Many thanks to all who sponsored items in our previous Field of Merit Sponsorship Opportunities! Here is an update:

  • Annual Long Life Puja for Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (early 2020) – We rejoice in everyone who contributed to the extensive long life puja offerings made at the Annual Long Life Puja offered at Kopan Monastery (Nepal) from the entire FPMT family of centres, services and students.
  • Geshe Wangchen’s pilgrimage in India and Nepal Summer 2019 – 20 – Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Geshe-la’s plane ticket and pilgrimage expenses. Geshe-la made special prayers and dedications at the holy places for all of the sponsors. Geshe-la shared photos and stories from his pilgrimage in early 2020 at DCI after his return.
  • His Eminence Ling Rinpoche’s Visit to Dorje Chang Institute in Feb/Mar 2020 – The first visit of H.E. Ling Rinpoche was auspicious, successful and full of blessings! H.E. Ling Rinpoche expressed that he enjoyed his time at Dorje Chang Institute. We hosted teachings at Avondale College Theatre on Transforming Problems, Compassion and Loving-Kindness, and an Introduction to the Secret, Profound Practice of Tonglen. Thank you to all who made such benefit possible!
  • Light offeringsThe new light offerings at the stupa have been installed even more extensively than planned! So beautiful! Other light upgrades (sensor lights, front path light, etc.) have been shown to our electrician and the work is being scheduled.
  • Dharma printing of new, updated Long Life Prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama – Formatting and printing has now been completed and now the careful process of updating all of our prayer books with the new prayer can begin!
  • DCI Sangha Support Thank you for helping to sponsor the costs of food, shelter, transport and medicine (including some cold and flu medication this winter) for our DCI Sangha members! 
  • Practical centre needsThanks to your generosity we now have more dehumidifiers to help keep the centre dry and have purchased some new large, strong umbrellas to help keep people dry on rainy days. 

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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