Dedicating the value of a session after practice
At the end of a meditative session, it's important to dedicate its
value to the welfare of all sentient beings.
| Meditation — motivation
As you bring
your session to a close, first consider individual people:
"Whatever value there was in the meditation done here,
may it be for the benefit of this person, that person .
Imagine the people and the animals around you. Relating
the activity to so many beings is a powerful way of increasing
the force of what was a small virtuous activity. It's magically
effective to picture that you did something for the people
and animals you were contemplating as wanting happiness
and not wanting suffering. As with adjusting the motivation
at the beginning of the session, gradually expand the field
to include larger groups of individuals and communities.
Start with beings who are nearby. When I meditate in
a group, I dedicate the value I got out of the session—that
intangible transformative force—to the persons in that
group: "May it go to help each one of you." And then I
extend it to include some of the beings around us. Don't
let the field of dedication be vague, like "everyone,"
because then it disappears from the mind. Dedicate it to
the meditators around you, and make sure to include the
individual beings who were part of your reflections during
Dedicating the value is like having a thousand dollars and giving
a thousand dollars to each of the many persons you call to mind. And
in terms of your own happiness, the session is worth much more than
money. What is it that brings us good luck? What has brought us into
this kind of lifetime? To give that intangible but powerful force to
other people is to give the best thing you can give.
When you mentally dedicate the value of a session to, say, ten people,
it is magnified ten times. So though you give it away, you benefit.
Such generosity has an effect on how you act with other people. But
more importantly, on a nonmaterial level, it benefits others directly.
Meditation can be very social practice. Dedication at the end of practice
insures that its impact will not be lost.