If natural richness is inherent in all beings, why is it so difficult to experience? How can we take possession of this wealth? Is there a PIN code that we could use to access it? The answer is yes. The PIN code for richness is m-e-r-i-t. It is very important to understand how merit shapes our lives.

Merit affects everything that we are and do — and everything we will be and do in the future. Any good fortune we experience in this life is the fruit of past good actions. These are the actions that moved us toward truth and the expression of our natural goodness. We may think that our fortunate circumstances are simply due to our own hard work. But in truth, they are due to our past actions and the kindness we've received from others. Without merit, we could never experience or obtain them, no matter how hard we tried. . . .

The ability to enjoy wealth comes from a deep appreciation of our world. And appreciation is only possible when we let go of self-importance. In order to enjoy our good fortune, we have to work on our mind in more subtle ways, In short, richness is our basic nature. But if we use our wealth or attributes to substantiate self-importance, we destroy our ability to enjoy them. When we let go of self-importance, we can experience the merit of appreciation.

Dzigar Kongtrul, It's Up to You