This is somehow a very nice message which gives a lot of hope, but the problem of hope is that we easily rest on it. As long as there is something to hope, we do not start to act.
There is often the discussion if we might live in a good or bad outward condition to understand Dhamma. There are also countless speculations if Dhamma is even reachable sometimes.
But I guess all this questions are very useless as they in fact, do not change our conditions. The only use of them, could be better should be, that we honor or use our present conditions as good as possible.
A fundamental base of the Buddha Dhamma is the insight that all compounded things (Dhammas) are conditioned. Not a single Dhamma incl. the teaching and the way to awakening is unconditioned.
If we play with the idea of “there is always the condition to awakening” we cut of the used urgency to make the best out of our condition. That is at least independent of our de facto condition.
So might have the idea, that every being will gain awakening by it self naturally, but that is not in line with what the Buddha taught and would be somehow nothing else as the believe in a determining flow of karma.
Our present situation is caused by our past intentions and maybe the support of wise people which leaded us to correct our intentions.
When we are somehow, and to meet on Dhamma discussion is actual a special condition already, come to see that we are in a blessed situation, its very needed to have gratitude for it.
Gratitude that we are able to see and come in contact with it, gratitude in direction of the teachers and friends at least to the Buddha and gratitude for our past deeps which made this possible.
If we think that things are coming by them self, or even that we had a right to come to this condition, we easily give it now value. If we do not give our present condition (inwardly as well as outwardly caused by past intentions as well) the value as needed we easily do not use them to better our condition further.
That means, we could easily, like most people do, just waste our merits (gain through past good/skillful intention). When we have millions, we easily waste it and forget that there was at least much work and suffering behind before and it is much easier to go further if we are in a good situation. If we are poor already and might see a way, we would even not be able to walk it.
We can compare this with a son who has gained a great heritage from his father. Here I remember a simile:
There was a wealthy man who possessed many crores worth of silver,
many crores worth of gold, and many crores worth of pearls. In order
that these properties might not be lost during bad times, he buried the
bulk of them in the ground, and kept only sixty-thousand worth of
money, rice, paddy, wearing apparel, and ornaments for immediate and
This wealthy man had six sons. On his death, the six heirs divided
the properties among themselves in six equal shares. The properties
buried beneath the earth were also similarly allocated. These buried
properties could be secured by the heirs only if the owners personally
dug them out the ground.
One of the sons was full of greed. He was not content with the pro-
perty he could immediately use. He was satiated with the desire for
the buried property and could not bear to wait long in order to get it.
He therefore exerted himself and dug up Ihe property, thus becoming a
One of the sons was full of energy. He did not look on the prospect
of having to exert himself for days and months as burdensome. He
therefore put forth effort and applied himself to the work of unearthing
the buried treasure, thus becoming a wealthy man.
One of the sons was strong in his attachment. From the moment he
received the heritage, his mind ways always on the property. Sleep and
food were of no consequence, so greatly was his mind attached to the pro-
perty. He thus put forth effort and dug up the buried property, becom-
ing a wealthy man.
One of the sons was clever and ingenious. He contrived to construct
machinery and dug up the buried property, thus becoming a wealthy
One of the sons lacked greed. He imagined himself to be well-off with
even ten thousand worth of property. He had no desire to acquire the
buried property. He was satisfied with the property that he received for
his immediate use.
One of the sons was a spendthrift. He squandered all the property,
not even leaving the price of a spade for the exhumation of the buried
property. He sank in to bad ways and was eventually banished from his
In this illustration, the Buddha resembles the wealthy father. Sila-vi-
suddhi and the pariyatti dhamma resemble the treasure available for
immediate use. Jhana and abhinna, which constitute citta-visuddhi, resem-
ble the buried silver treasure. The four lokiya pafina-visuddhi, such
as ditthivisuddhi, resemble the buried gold treasure. The lokuttara-riana-
dassana-visuddhi resembles the buried pearl treasure. The layfolk and
bhikkhus of the Buddha Sasana resemble the six heirs.
From: Heritage of the Sasana
The point in discussion whether there are good or not good conditions is to understand that all in Samsara is conditioned, impermanent not lasting. The good things as well as the bad things.
But to break through this unsatisfactory reality of beings, this gives also the possibility to break out of this frame.
It might be that our present situation does not allow any higher insight or to gain even any fruit, but simply the gratitude and faith in and of conditions would lead us to better our situation in the future.
There are countless beings which are for sure not able to escape and even not able to change there conditions in a better way. We, as we are in contact with the good teachings should think twice about it and lose no time in maintaining doubt that all things are conditioned and therefore start to act in the right direction.
The frame work of conditions, makes it possible to go beyond them. If we are able now, later, tomorrow, in ten year, next life or in eons is not a relevant and important question, but to start to make the first step and keep the aim in mind as good as possible. One step after the other, even a thousand mile journey starts with the first step and is continued just by the next step.
It does not make sense to think if we would reach the aim or not in a timeframe we might use to call it our existence. And this is the second problem which could arise if we have the useless thought of the idea that we are not able to do. We would be just worried, depressed and waste our time and even the last recourses of past merits.
Conviction in that we are responsible for our intentions (actions) come with gratitude realized trough our present situation compared with the situation of others for example. Not a single being is equal with the other, its just the frame work that it is the same as well as the reality of suffering, its cause, its cessation and possibility for a way out.
So how do you think is your condition and what hinders you to but effort to turn it to a better?
There are some “outwardly” conditions like:
paccantaro – living on a place where Buddha Sasana does not flourish
How could one change this situation? Change the place, or put effort so that it might flourish (which would require the understanding and the right tnedency first)
micchaditthi – born/associate among people with wrong view
That goes much along what is called the pre-requisite for the wing of awakening. The admirable friend. What if there are no around, would the teaching alone help?
vitalingo--persons with congenital, defects such as idiocy, etc.
To change that situation is maybe not easy but if such a person would be integrated in a culture that goes in the right direction, he might gain a good support in simply following what others do.
This “outwardly” conditions for others would also bring some possible effort if ones mind is very directed into “compassion” for others which is also a field for paramis to better even his own situation.
It’s a very complex framework, this conditions thing, but if we get the message no way of return.
It not today, gives it tomorrow another try. On and on, remember the past and compare it to the present and try to see that nothing comes from it self as nothing goes from itself.
That will increase our conviction in kamma and our confection in what is called right view as the starter of the eightfold path which has a lot of connections to gratitude.
And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father , no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view...
"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."
— MN 117
"In a person of wrong view, wrong resolve comes into being. In a person of wrong resolve, wrong speech. In a person of wrong speech, wrong action. In a person of wrong action, wrong livelihood. In a person of wrong livelihood, wrong effort. In a person of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness. In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong knowledge. In a person of wrong knowledge, wrong release.
"This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success."
— AN 10.103
We actually do not live in a society where gratitude has much value, so why don’t give it a change and turn from a simply consumer of past merits to a producer of merits and lift up even the conditions for other, not just using what is avaliable for our own sucess (which would fail in any way)? A kind of letting go that our situation and tendency is the best (even a possible), of course.
Hard critic and discussions which are intented in refusing are like always wellcome.