Buddhists do this thing called “dedicating the merit.” At the end of each meditation practice, we offer our efforts to the universe. One dedication of merit I use begins “by this merit, May all beings be freed from suffering.” Whether the session was wonderful and insightful or crappy and fretful, I offer it, imagining that it, somehow, will be of benefit.

We can take that same attitude and apply it to our lives. I write about self-discovery in the hopes that my words will help others navigate their lives more easily. Writing is something that I am good at and enjoy so. Why not share it?

As with a meditation session, it’s easier to imagine the benefit of experiences that please us than it is those that disturb us.

My teacher, Susan Piver, tells the story of a Tibetan monk who came to the US. Walking through the Port authority in New York city, carrying all his important papers and money. He was pick pocketed.

Susan was impressed by the monk’s calm demeanor. “Weren’t you upset?” she asked.

“I was at first,” he replied, “but then I offered it.”

Rather than feeling robbed and angry, he chose to make a (mental) donation of his papers and money. He imagined that they might relieve the suffering of others. May we all make such skillful offerings!

This month I am considering how to share my strength compassionately. I will experiment with making a practice of dedicating my efforts – including those “off the cushion.”

In your journal:

  • What are your strengths?
  • How do you share your strengths?
  • What do you think about “dedicating the merit”?