This is a teaching of the first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa extracted from ‘The First Karmapa- The Life and Teachings of Dusum Khyenpa” and an extract from the teaching of Choeze Rinpoche which i feel is relevant. Kudos to RA for typing this out. I have written another post on dedication here:
DEDICATION FOR THE LIVING AND THE DECEASED
NAMO RATNA GURU. In the words of the precious guru:
It is said that dedicating the roots of goodness is extremely important. If you perform virtue but do not dedicate it, it will become depleted. If you dedicate it to a lesser purpose, it will become depleted. If you publicize it, it will become depleted. Dedication is the method to prevent virtue from being depleted and to increase and strengthen it.
Regarding the recipient of the dedication, dedications are effective when made in the presence of representation of the Three Jewels. Dedications are effective when made in the presence of someone with bodhichitta. Dedications are effective when made in the presence of your lama.
What you dedicate is all virtue of the three times. This includes all the virtue of the past, present, and future. All the roots of goodness can be summarized as three types: the virtue born of generosity, born of discipline, and born of meditation.
The manner of dedication is not to dedicate virtue for your own self, for this life, or for achieving arhatship or self buddhahood. Instead dedicate it so that you and all infinite sentient beings unexcelled, completely perfect enlightment – this is a vast dedication. Its result will never get depleted until you achieve buddhahood. For example, if you spit on a dry rock, the drop of spittle will dry up quickly, but if you spit into the ocean, it will not dry up until the ocean dries up. Similarly, if you dedicate all the virtue you have accumulated in the three times in the presence of your lama and so forth with the intention that you and all infinite sentient beings achieve omniscient buddhahood, the dedication will be accomplished as you have made it. A meaning less thing takes on the highest and best meaning so that it will accomplish a great purpose – it is like a hidden treasure. Therefore, think that all the buddhas and bodhisattvas are present in the sky in front of you. Think to yourself, “ I shall make it so that I and all sentient beings achieve omnniscient buddhahood. For that purpose, I dedicate all the virtue accumulated in the three times to unexcelled enlightenment.”
Repeat after the person leading the dedications: all buddhas and bodhisattvas dwelling in the ten directions thinking of me. Venerable members of the Sangha, I ask that you consider me. Through all virtue that I, named (name), have done, encouraged, or rejoiced in throughout beginningless births up to now, arising from generosity, arising from discipline, and arising from meditation; especially those arising this year from such actions as presenting offerings to the Three Jewels, serving the Sangha, reciting the sutra of the transcendences, offering tormas to Dharma protectors, giving tormas to buthas, and serving feast to people in my immediate or general area: through these roots of goodness, and through sublime generosity – the ornaments of the mind, the mind’s necessities, the collection of yogas and the supreme purpose – may I attain omniscient buddhahood for the benefit of all innumerable beings, with my preceptor, master and parents first and foremost.” Recite that three times. After the last repetition:
“Until that is attained, in every life, may I acquire a human body with excellent leisure and resources. Having acquired a human body, may I encounter a spiritual friend of the mahayana. After I have received both teaching and instruction from the spiritual friend, may no outer or inner obstacles to their practise arise. May I achieve the supreme siddhi of mahamudra. May it be just so.” Recite that three times.
If you wish to make a dedication for the deceased, think that you are dedicating all the virtue they have done in the three times and all the virtue their surviving relatives have done on their behalf so that they, foremost among all sentient beings, are freed from all the suffering of samsara and achieve unexcelled enlightenment. While thingking that, repeat after the person leading the dedication:
“All buddhas and bodhisattvas who abide in the ten directions, I pray that consider the deceased, (name), and all others. Noble members of the Sangha, I pray that you considere the deceased, (name). Through all the roots of goodness accumulated throughout the three times by the deceased, (name), including those arising from generosity, those arising from discipline, and those arising from meditation; the roots of goodness done, encouraged and rejoiced in by them; and the roots of goodness done by us, their surviving relatives, for the benefit of the deceased, (name), including presenting offerings to the Three Jewels, serving the Sangha, reciting the sutras of transcendent wisdom, offering tormas to Dharma protectors, giving tormas to buthas, and serving feast to the people of our immediate or general area; through these roots of goodness, wherever and if the deceased has been born, throughhhh the power of karma, among the six types of beings, may thesee roots of goodness accompany and follow them. May they be freed from all the sufferings of the six types of beings and acquire a human body with excellent leisure and resources. Having acquired a human body, may they hear the sound of the Three Jewels. Having heard the words ‘the Three Jewels,’ may they acquire faith in the Three Jewels. Having acquired faith in the Three Jewels, may they take refuge, generate bodhichitta, train in all the precepts, and attain omniscient buddhahood.” Recite that three times. Those members of the Sangha present should respond three times with, “May it be just so.”
Thus dedicating to their benefit those virtues done on their behalf become a great virtue for oneself. Therefore, it is said that you should also dedicate the virtue of the living.
The completes the ritual for dedications for the living and deceased, which was recorded from Rinpoche’s speech.
Choeze Rinpoche – on dedicating merits in the future:
How should we do dedication? We should dedicate all the past, present and future merits of ourselves, all sentient beings, all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as well as the source of all good deeds, our Buddha nature. This is the special method of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung Kagyud lineage. Why should we dedicate future merit? We may forget to dedicate merits in future when we have done good deeds, so we dedicate merit now for those circumstances. Dedicating future merits will also make it easier for us to accumulate merit in the future.
A WONDERFUL DEDICATION PRAYER FROM THE DRIKUNG LINEAGE:
BY THE VIRTUES COLLECTED IN THE THREE TIMES (PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE) BY MYSELF AND ALL BEINGS IN SAMSARA AND NIRVANA, AND BY THE INNATE ROOT OF VIRTUE, MAY I AND ALL SENTIENT BEINGS QUICKLY ATTAIN UNSURPASSED, PERFECT, COMPLETE, PRECIOUS BUDDHAHOOD