The path of a good zen-buddhist demands an equal measure of grit, talent and luck.
Without the hard introductory work and basics of making the monkey mind go quiescent, we will not be able to notice the essence of the most sublime and subtle dharma within us.
Without talent (based on knowledge derived from the grit from previous lives) we will not be able to know what to do with that which we have before us. Much like a poor beggar holding a piece of mud-covered gold in his hand, believing it is a mere stone of no value.
Without luck (good karma), derived from good deeds towards the lesser able in past lives and in this one, including purifying mantras and mudras to bypass the monkey mind of the evil one, we are surely going to have a hard time finding auspicious opportunities to practice in peace, without an incessant interference from Mara´s external demands to covet and pursuit the worldly.
Thus we work on our liberation without thought of gain or loss, without notion of reward or punishment. We are mindful of the facts from good sutra study and other records that the sharpest and most refined minds walked this path before us and risked everything they held dear, by the social conditioning of their time, in order to realize the deathless nature of their own self, not knowing what to expect.
Once the deathless is seen, possessed and fully identified as ones true nature, the samadhi of perfect freedom from birth and death arises.
First one, then ten, then a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand and so on. He or she who thinks of time here, has not grasped the non-temporal reality of the absolute.
That is the beauty of the deathless. Once free from evil and suffering, what grit, talent or luck is there to speak of?
Once you awake in your real body from the nightmarish “existence” in Mara’s countless dream bodies, no one has sovereignty over your true self and thus you are free to do as you wish in perfect nirvanic freedom and the wisdom arisen therefrom.