eight difficulties (八難). One has either no opportunity or no motivation to see a Buddha or hear His Dharma, while in any of the eight difficulties:
(1) as a hell-dweller;
(2) as a hungry ghost;
(3) as an animal;
(4) as an inhabitant of Uttarakuru, the northern continent, where life is too pleasant;
(5) in deep meditation in a formless heaven;
(6) being blind, deaf, or mute;
(7) as a worldly eloquent intellectual;
(8) in the period between the presence of one Buddha and the next.
八難・八難処 ( Jpn hachi-nan or hachi-nansho )
Eight places, states, or circumstances wherein one is unable to see a Buddha or to listen to his teaching.
(2) the realm of hungry spirits;
(3) the realm of animals;
(4) the heaven of long life (any of the eighteen heavens in the world of form or the four heavens in the world of formlessness where beings live long; or, by another account, the Heaven of No Thought in the fourth meditation heaven in the world of form);
(5) Uttarakuru, the continent north of Mount Sumeru where pleasures dominate;
(6) obstructions of the sense organs, such as blindness;
(7) attachment to and satisfaction with secular knowledge; and
(8) the period before a Buddha's birth or after his death.