Sharing the Merit

After any practice session it is traditional to ‘Share the Merit’. This is an ancient practice that happens in many Buddhist schools. We practice in the awareness that our happiness and well-being are not separate from the happiness and well-being of others. There is a danger that we will begin to think of what we are doing as purely form our own benefit. For this to be so we would have to be separate from others which is a form of wrong view and a cause of suffering.

On a regular Sangha evening we share the merit by sitting in silence for a few moments thinking of those who suffer or perhaps who just occur to us at that moment. All beings suffer. If disputes and crimes come to mind it is valuable to hold in mind both sides of any conflict.

Some people will feel they want to share the what they are thinking. They will bow, briefly share their thoughts then bow again. There is no need to share aloud what you are thinking if you don’t feel moved to do so. If you do share it should be kept very brief.

When the facilitator feels the time is right they will lead the Sangha in chanting in unison the gatha:

Practising the way of awareness, leads benefits without limit.

We vow to share the fruits with all beings.

We vow to offer tribute to parents, teachers, friends and numerous beings

Who give guidance and support along the path.

On shorter practice sessions just the gatha is chanted.