The classic question students often ask at this point is, “If everything I experience is just a product of my mind, is there such a thing as ‘accumulating merit’?” In this context, the concept that merit either exists or does not exist is just another of mind’s constructions.
At first, it may be difficult to arouse the motivation of bodhichitta and remember nonduality every time you act. It’s also unlikely that you will immediately be able to meditate on emptiness for a whole hour each day. Instead, start by trying to remember that everything you see and experience is merely the product of your own perception. However simple your dharma activity, for example offering a flower to your teacher, remember that although you accumulate merit by making the offering, in reality the idea of accumulating merit is itself a creation of your mind. At every opportunity, get used to the thought that everything you perceive is produced by mind and there is no such thing as a truly existing “holy” activity.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices
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Further quotes from the book Not for Happiness:
- Opposite direction to dharma
- Sources of our inspiration
- Practise whichever method works for you
- Intention to benefit all sentient beings
- The decision to follow a spiritual path
- Absolutely nothing genuinely works
- The merit of maintaining mindfulness
- Right intention
- As they truly are
- To reject your aggression is a weakness
- Dharma is not a therapy
- Spiritual practice is like riding a bicycle
- Maintaining a strong grip on the habits
- Everything we experience is a product of mind
- It’s all a matter of motivation
- The signs of progress
- Adapting the Dharma
- No substitute for being guided by a guru