If one cannot meditate, is it the result of their karma?

Dear Bhante,

If one cannot meditate, is it the result of their karma?

Thank you so much, Bhante_()_

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Welcome to the forum! Aloha!
Kamma is the action, Vipaka is the result.
“Because of their kamma” means the result based on previous kamma, usually past life since present life effects based on present life kamma, is weak. (I will explain).

If one cannot meditate, it can be because of previous kamma especially if one is born with double root instead of triple root. It is the 3rd root which is the most important, and the one that is missing with some humans. Humans are always double root or triple root.

  • alobha non-greed
  • adosa non-anger
  • amoha non-delusion (wisdom)

There are different theories, but some say that most humans are triple root. If you are educated, some also say you are triple root. If you are bilingual and into Theravada, we might guess you are triple root.
Some say differently.

The only way to know is to check your bhavanga mental process and see what roots are associated in that. It is very subtle, and it is easier actually to see the past life kamma that caused your rebirthlinking-process to happen. There it will be stronger and easier to see.

Because these three roots are very important, practice dana, metta, and dhamma of knowing to develop a habit for kamma with these 3 roots to arise all of the time. Hopefully at the time of your near death moment which picks the re-birth-kamma.

There are other kammas that can prevent progress based on this current-life-actions:
heavy kamma such as

  • killing mother
  • killing father,
  • shedding blood of Buddha,
  • killing an arahant
  • causing a schism
  • and molesting a real bhikkhuni

Pārājika can also be a problem too. However, if the monk disrobes, it is said to be possible to recover as a samanera (if permitted) or lay person.

Speaking wrongly about the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha can also prevent progress.

Lastly, all sīla is important. The Buddha says that breaking the precepts of a monk, samanera, layperson can be an obstruction. The beginning of the patimokkha says that breaking sila is a problem. We also have 2 pacittiyas about claiming it is not an obstruction.

antarāyiko dhammo vutto bhagavatā
from patimokkha introduction.


Okasa Bhante,

my person would be interested in “who said”, as surely a matter for many, this days and on. My person isn’t aware of surely compassionate rehabilitation-ways praised as to be undertaken by the Sublime Buddha, but maybe not necessary, as one who gained a glimpse previous would work his way out. Interesting topic, somehow. Yet surely main reason why many in South-east Asia are very shy to take on higher ordination, fearing outcomes by failures. Yet on the other side the Sublime Buddha would’t have liked those possible endangered to “get lost” to take on the way if to dangerous for them. Maybe the reasoning is found in detail when re-asking those “who said”, Bhante.

Maybe good to add the pattern of conditions for right Samadhi arising (btw. every life has samadhi as factor), which are in short right view, right conduct. Right view has right association/relay/relation as basic condition.

In another pattern (rightly) remorseless is the base of the lokuttar-paṭiccasamuppāda as well. (Sīla/remorse or sometimes called Saddhā/surrender or sometimes Satipaṭṭhānā in shorter chains)