As history goes on this planet right now, as a collective, we are living in the most fortunate time to be alive. This is because we have the five basic requisites by which to support your life, or what the Buddha called the five fortunate karmas:
You are not born in a time of strife in unrest. You are sound of body and sound of mind (even if it doesn’t come easily to you are not struggling for the requisites by which to support your life). And you have the capacity to understand the Dharma. Dharma which shows you so you can see and understand, the way your mind works. When you do see how your mind works it will profoundly change the way your mind behaves – and not seeing how our mind works, we get locked in habit patterns that produce a tremendous amount of friction for us!
So in general terms, this is such good karma that supports this life – within that, other karma maybe fruiting (good luck or bad luck, we don’t know). Sometimes wholesome karma is fruiting, sometimes your life is really easily supported. Sometimes unwholesome karma is fruiting and sometimes life can be a real struggle. We don’t know… good luck, our life can go swimmingly and then unwholesome karma can fruit and it starts to break apart.
It is our capacity to meet the rough and the smooth that determines whether we flourish or not.
If you can meet the rough in your life with a positive attitude it IS your invitation to evolve – things that happen are what they are and life it is what it is – no amount of wanting it to be something else or thinking it shouldn’t be like that is going to change that fact. It isn’t until you meet it for ‘what it is’ that you evolve. It’s either your invitation to completely renew your habit patterns of “oh I don’t like that!/ why has that happened to me!/ it shouldn’t be like that!” and all the other negative habit patterns that arise around that attitude, or: “wow well OK! there’s a challenge that’s going to take some serious surmounting!”– Then you can find the character to surmount it. It doesn’t matter how big the challenge is, you’ve got to find the character to surmount it because otherwise, it’s going to be your misery and potentially your undoing– but if you find the character to surmount it, that is what ennobles you as a human being.
When you’re having a really tough time and someone else is finding it easy: well in a way you could see yourself as more fortunate than them because you have got an invitation to evolve right now and someone else may easily be falling into complacency. This is what’s happening to beings all the time, they fall into complacency because they don’t see the suffering before they are really experiencing it: so we allow it to go on around us with not understanding how it could be like that, while we go-on creating within ourselves the conditions for such suffering in the future. So try not to fall into complacency!
It’s extraordinary good fortune that you have supporting your life – whether you support it with a wholesome attitude towards it or undermine it with an unwholesome attitude towards it: this is entirely up to you. that’s the point at which you are accountable. So: rough or smooth, good luck or bad luck, it doesn’t matter a jot – it is what it is – what presents itself in your life is what you have to find the patience and compassion to meet.
We shouldn’t compare ourself to others as better same or worse – that is the first ignorance that causes misery. “Well it’s all very well for them, they don’t have to deal with such and such!” – Well … Good luck to them!! – that’s the basis of our appreciative joy – delighting in the good fortune of others is a very important aspect.
So, just be with what you have to be with – what comes up within you is what you need to meet. That’s what Grace is: your capacity to meet what your predicament is and ennoble yourself by being with it.