Home » Features » Should We Share Merits With Our ‘Enemies’?

Karma is our Mama,
for we are born
from our karma.

- Stonepeace | Get Books

Is there a need to share merits, even with those who treat us selfishly, or negatively in some way? Yes, the sharing of merits should always include all sentient beings, including those we have animosity towards, and those with animosity towards us. Although it might be somewhat challenging at first, this is important as a practice of compassion – for the welfare of ourselves and the other persons, to resolve any grudges held between. The sharing of merits done with mindfulness and sincerity is itself an expression and fortification of loving-kindness and generosity that counters hatred and selfishness – of others, but more importantly, ourselves. Just as we practise to radiate and expand loving-kindness in meditation in an immeasurable way to encompass each and every being, the sharing of merits is also for the nurturing of greater loving-kindness, for the softening and opening up of our sometimes small and hardened hearts.

Any hatred, that we otherwise allow to fester within us like a mental cancer will eat away our already limited joy and peace of mind, while preventing these qualities, which are what we really want, from growing healthily. In this sense, our choices made with or without wisdom are the true sources of our happiness and suffering. No external persons have ever and can ever really make us suffer or hold our happiness hostage. We have to remember too, that unwanted negative experiences are karmic in nature, again, with their true causes arising from us, even if we are not aware of exactly how this is so. When others seem negative to us, they are but conditions through which our negative karmic seeds ripen. Since this is so, we must further take stock of our spirituality to cultivate greater virtues for countering our latent faults.

Sharing of merits is one of the simpler yet still effective ways to use the power of big-heartedness to dissolve the small-mindedness in us. The more we practise this sincerely and regularly, the more will we realise that this conscientious change of our attitudes at the level of thought can gradually spill over to change our speech and actions towards the other persons for the better, which is when the dynamics of our relationships become more positive in real life. This is how we can use our genuine virtues to spiritually ‘win’ others over, with win-win results too. No one loses at all. Even if the other persons seem slow to change, what immediately experienced is the change in ourselves, in becoming less readily negatively affected by them, in becoming more magnanimous and gracious.

Since we are all along fully in charge of how we want to feel, it makes perfect sense to make peace with adverse conditions presented through others. Right wrongs if needed, but never lose peace of mind in the process. If we unmindfully continue to let our grudges undermine our happiness instead, by bearing in mind who not to share our merits with day after day, this list of barred persons might grow indefinitely to include more linked to or similar to them. Such growth in bitterness creates ‘demerits’! Life should make us better, not bitter. Why distance ourselves from our ideals to become ever equanimous yet all-embracing Buddhas? May we then, not let even a single person, whom we have any tension with, remain a difficult knot in our hearts.

As we struggle to crack a smile with loving-kindness,
the Buddhas smile on with loving-kindness,
gently encouraging us to strive on.

- Stonepeace | Get Books

Related Articles:

Can Dedication Of Merits Solve Problems?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/05/can-dedication-of-merits-solve-problems
How To Make Our Love Truer & Greater?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2009/10/how-to-make-our-love-truer-greater

3 Responses to “Should We Share Merits With Our ‘Enemies’?”

  1. avatar
    Ignorant January 26, 2014

    Firstly, i would like to (Y) thumbs-up this article. It helps me realized i am still harboring hatred towards those who have had demean and drown me and my closed ones before. I am still unable to transfer merits to them though i wish them well. May I encounter my realization soon. (L)

  2. avatar
    Shen Shi'an January 26, 2014

    (Y)

    Jiayou!

  3. avatar

    Answer (Rinpoche): Ideally, we serve others with pure heart, not expecting gratitude, payment or recognition. We accept complaints with equanimity and patiently continue, knowing that people don’t always see the purpose of what we’re doing. Though our actions may seem insignificant or unproductive, if our motivation is pure and we dedicate the merit expansively, we generate great virtue. Though we may not accomplish what we set out to do, auspicious conditions and our ability to benefit others in the future will only increase. No effort is wasted; when someone witnesses our loving kindness, he sees a new way of responding to anger or aggression. This becomes a reference point in his mind that, like a seed, will eventually flower when conditions ripen. Then when we dedicate the virtue, our loving kindness will extend to all beings. We mustn’t become discouraged if someone we are trying to help continues to experience the results of her negative karma and, in the process, creates the causes of future suffering. Instead, because she doesn’t have enough merit for her suffering to end, we must redouble our efforts to accumulate merit and dedicate it to her and others. We’re not out to accomplish selfish aims. We are trying to establish the causes of lasting happiness for all beings. By purifying our self-interest and mental poisons, we develop a heroic mind. The process of going beyond suffering and helping others do the same is the way of the Bodhisattva.

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