What on earth is she talking about?
What does that have to do with horsemanship?
Don’t click away. Let me explain. Or let me begin and then you can apply this concept to horsemanship. You won’t need my help.
The Dedication of Merit is chanted at the end of meditation or other positive actions with the intention to help all beings become enlightened.
Here is one English translation:
By this merit, may all attain omniscience. May it defeat the enemy, wrongdoing. From the stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness, and death, may I free all beings.
When we work so hard, emotionally, phusically, mentally, dedicating our work to a cause that is greater than we are, that encompasses the object of our effort and the entire universe as well, has a grounding, solidifying effect. Though it is not its intended purpose exactly, I am comforted by the dedication of merit I offer at the beginning and end of each work session. It offers the greatest gift to the horses I touch, the lives I encounter, and to my own faltering human form.
I am thinking today as well of Tamara of the Barb Wire, and her efforts with her horses Consolation and Aaruba, as well as her own recent injury and the cause of it. We can so often get swamped by the need to get things done, to solve problems, to cause others to take responsibility for their actions or the lack thereof, that we fail to remember what it is we are working for.
Take a moment and think what it is you are really working for.
At the moment, I am working for my own salvation from anger and victimhood and the continuing positive feedback loop that anger engenders. May my efforts to conquer anger defeat the enemy, wrongdoing. From my own efforts and existence in human form, may all beings find freedom.
In general, I work for the well-being and liberation of all animals through working with horses.
Obviously, I have written here a Buddhist dedication of merit. But there are many ways this might be altered to fit your own intention. Intention is everything, isn’t it? If the Buddhist source version doesn’t ring your bell, then make up your own.
It’s all about being aware of what we do and why we do it.
If you come up with your own personal version of the Dedication of Merit, particularly as it relates to your horse work, please post it here or in your own blog and linkback. I am very interested in reading how mindful horsepeople might interpret this ultimate call to mindfulness.
© 2009 enlightened horsemanship through touch
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