Meditations on Rejoicing

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Bendigo, Australia (Archive #2072)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these instructions on how to think during the section on rejoicing in Lama Chöpa at a retreat held in Bendigo, Australia, in April-May 2018. Scribe: Ven. Ailsa Cameron.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Bendigo, Australia, Sep-Oct 2014.
Meditation One

Rejoicing is the easiest way to accumulate merit. By rejoicing we can collect merit as infinite as space. It is said in the teachings that among the virtues, or good karmas, the best one to practice is rejoicing. In other words, if we want to create good luck, rejoicing is the best way.

First, your own merits:

  • Rejoice in your own three times’ merits—past, present and future;
  • Remember that when you rejoice in all your merits collected from beginningless rebirths up to now, the merits become double;
  • As many times as you rejoice, you double the merits.

Next, the merits of all sentient beings:

  • Rejoice in the three times’ merits of other sentient beings, including bodhisattvas;
  • If you don’t have bodhicitta and you rejoice in the merits a bodhisattva collects in one day, you get half that amount of merit; without rejoicing, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche says that it would take 15,000 years to collect that much merit. But by rejoicing, you get all that merit in one second;
  • Rejoicing in the merits of other sentient beings is beyond conception, because there are numberless sentient beings:
    • If the level of a sentient being’s mind is lower than yours, you get double their merits;
    • If their level of mind is the same, you get the same merits;
    • If their level of mind is higher, you get half of the merits.

Finally, the merits of all guru-buddhas:

  • Rejoice in the three times’ merits of all guru-buddhas;
  • When you rejoice in their inconceivable merits, you get one-tenth of their merits.
Meditation Two 

Rejoicing not only accumulates merits very quickly, it also increases the merits. When we rejoice, our merits increase greatly. Among the virtues, rejoicing is the best, because it is the easiest one to practice. It simply involves our mind thinking, and the merit we accumulate is infinite. 

First, your own merits:

  • Rejoice in your own three times’ merits—past, present and future;
  • When you rejoice in all your merits collected from beginningless rebirths up to now, the merits become double;
  • By rejoicing in your own merits, you accumulate more merits than you actually accumulated by doing the virtuous action.

Next, the merits of all sentient beings:

  • Rejoice in all the good things happening to other sentient beings, i.e., those who develop their Dharma practice and have realizations, who have education, wealth, happy families, many friends, or succeed in business; those who with a kind heart are constantly serving and helping sentient beings etc. Feel this and rejoice.
  • Rejoicing in the merits of other sentient beings is beyond conception, because sentient beings are numberless, thus the merits you create are also numberless;
  • Rejoice in the three times’ merits of all the bodhisattvas, from the first up to the tenth bhumi—how each of them has actualized bodhicitta, has developed many qualities and is tirelessly doing extensive works benefiting sentient beings. Feel this and rejoice.

Finally, the merits of all guru-buddhas:

  • Rejoice in the three times’ merits of all guru-buddhas;
  • Each buddha has infinite qualities, i.e., an omniscient mind knowing everything exactly as it is, compassion which encompasses every sentient being, and the perfect power to benefit each being without mistakes. Feel this and rejoice…
Meditation Three

There is no way to experience happiness without good karma. That is natural, a dependent arising. Without good karma, there is no way to experience happiness or success at all. All happiness, up to the happiness of enlightenment, comes only from good karma. Therefore, it is extremely precious. With this awareness, we should rejoice. 

First, your own merits:

  • Think, “How wonderful it is that I have accumulated so much merit in the past, I am doing so in the present, and likewise in the future.”
  • Think this twenty-one times. Practice it right now.

Then, the merits of all sentient beings:

  • Sentient beings normally create negative karma; it’s very difficult and very rare for them to create good karma, or virtue;
  • You should feel very happy because it is only through their own practice of good karma that they can have happiness, therefore how wonderful it is that they are putting effort from their own side into accumulating merits;
  • Then rejoice in the merits of all the numberless bodhisattvas of the ten bhumis;
  • If you don’t have bodhicitta and you rejoice in the merits a bodhisattva collects in one day, you get half that amount of merit; without rejoicing, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche says that it would take 15,000 years to collect that much merit. But by rejoicing, you get all that merit in one second.

Finally, the merits of all guru-buddhas:

  • Rejoice in the merits of the past, present and future of all guru-buddhas;
  • They created so much merit in the three times, which results in so much happiness, including the achievement of enlightenment;
  • Think again and again, “How wonderful it is! How wonderful it is! How wonderful it is!” Count your repetitions.
Meditation Four

We should rejoice whenever we see good things happening to other people. We should think, “How good it is! How wonderful it is!” Rejoicing then becomes the best business for us. Why? Because by rejoicing we are creating the cause for success—success in our Dharma practice, success in benefiting sentient beings and the Buddha’s teachings, and success in even the ordinary activities of this life. By rejoicing, we are creating the best cause for success.

First, your own merits:

  • Rejoice in your own three times’ merits, 
    • In the past: how you must have observed and protected the morality purely, practiced generosity and made pure prayer which resulted in obtaining a perfect human rebirth in this life with conducive conditions for practicing Dharma; 
    • In the present: how you are striving to continue to practice virtue, i.e., observing pure morality etc., and collecting so many causes for future happiness; and 
    • In the future: how, due to having implanted so many virtuous imprints in this life, you will continue to practice Dharma until enlightenment is achieved.

Next, the merits of all sentient beings:

  • Rejoice, first of all, in the merits of those in the east, then to the south, then west, then north, then up and down;
  • Then rejoice in all the people in Tibet who have practiced virtue and accumulated merit in the three times; 
  • Then rejoice in all the people in Nepal, and India—for example, in Dharamsala where His Holiness the Dalai Lama lives, so many people, both lay and ordained, are practicing Dharma;
  • Then think of all the other Buddhist countries, and rejoice in all their merits of the three times;
  • Then think of all the sentient beings in the whole world;
  • Then rejoice in the three times’ merits of all other sentient beings, including bodhisattvas, such as Manjushri, Samantabhadra, Maitreya, Avalokiteshvara, Ksitigarbha and so on.

Finally, the merits of all guru-buddhas:

  • Rejoice in the three times’ merits of all guru-buddhas, which include all the great masters in India and Tibet such as Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Chandrakirti, Shantideva, Lama Atisha, Lama Tsongkhapa, Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa, all the Kadampa geshes and so on.