Sharing the Merit

We ask leaders or their designees to recite a version of Sharing the Merit at our weekly gatherings.  This recitation reminds us we practice not just for ourselves, but the welfare of all.

In our tradition, there is no formal, or specifically required version of Sharing the Merit.  Leaders frequently use a version from Chanting from the Heart, one from the Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book (page 19), or a compilation of Plum Village practices, songs, chants, and gathas. Here are a couple examples:

Sharing the Merit

Reciting the sutras, practicing the way of awareness
gives rise to 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.
[bell, bell, bell][1]

Leaders often modify the first sentence of the above example to fit the dharma topic reviewed at their respective sangha gatherings (e.g., “Receiving the Five Mindfulness Trainings, practicing  . . .):

Alternatively, the leader may improvise with phrases such as:

Sharing the Merit #1

Bowing in gratitude, we offer the merit of our practice today/tonight
for the benefit of all beings everywhere.

Sharing the Merit #2

With a deep bow of gratitude, we offer the benefits
generated by our practice together.
May all beings be happy, healthy, and safe.

Typically the leader recites Sharing the Merit after dharma discussion and before announcements; the leader may also do so in the closing circle. The recitation takes less than a minute.

[1] Thich Nhat Hanh, Chanting from the Heart at p. 35 (Parallax Press, 2007).