“Friendship is the very essence of spiritual life”
We all have parents, grand-parents, ancestors but we are ignorant of most of what we have inherited and which nevertheless conditions our lives as well as our relationship to the world.
All along our family, professional and social life, we also weave numerous pleasant or difficult but so precious relationships. On the very ground of these primordial links, nurtured by the fundamental teachings, we develop the essence of our progress and the wish for the progress of others.
By accompanying those who wish to follow this path, thanks to concrete efforts to change our minds and hearts, we create a more conscious and benevolent humanity, therefore transforming our reality beyond any expectation.
Following the path step by step
The first step consists in becoming aware that aiming to improve oneself is an essential, inherent part of human nature. The first steps on the path often enable us to realize that according to the law of impermanence, change and development are at the very core of the process of life.
The second step consists in trusting everyone’s potential to become a Buddha. This potential will be revealed in our reality which is the ground where we must make efforts to improve ourselves. Thus, this method, adopted in the everyday life, sharpens the quality of our minds, opens up our consciousness to new changes and creates a deeply satisfying life.
At the core of the process which will unfold all along the way, the third step consists in understanding that it is necessary for us to accomplish specific actions with trust and perseverance in order to engender such a transformation. Successive awakenings will follow that can be perceived as encouragements. Those who consciously act in such a way give a new meaning to their lives and experiment a feeling of fulfilment.
Human beings are born with specific characteristics and a potential to start with, that makes them different from other living beings. One of these characteristics is creative thinking, the faculty to explore new realities beyond the ordinary perception of senses. Reiyukai exhorts each of us to fill our daily lives with a conscience and dynamism that make use of this potential. By developing our creativity, our consciousness and our compassion, we will create a more human world.
Reiyukai encourages its members to think and to experiment the truth of the Teaching by themselves. There is no such thing as dogma. Everyone has their own lives. That is why nobody can set their rhythm or their ways of practising on anybody else.
Members accompany the one who is looking for the best suited path adapted to his or her goals, as members are convinced that the path will get clearer as he or she is exploring it and will grow richer thanks to the fruit of his or her experimentations.
Get to know yourself
Knowing oneself involves knowing about one’s past. Just as one understands the present better thanks to sound bases in history, people understand themselves better thanks to a solid knowledge of their personal and family history. Our past is not only composed of the diversity of events which have happened since our birth, it also includes events which happened even before, events that concerned our parents, grand-parents and ancestors. All of these people’s lives are linked to ours more than through blood ties; the way they lived still affects us today. Since our birth and until we die, we go through life and add to or remove stones from the building we have inherited from the past. Although our remote ancestors did not directly influence us, they exerted an influence on their children who in their turns influenced their own children: a process at work in the whole chain of generations. Our parents’ influence is thus the blend and the result of all these influences.
The more conscious we become of what links us to our ancestors, the more responsible we feel towards our children and about our role as parents. If we accept with gratitude the fact that we are the result of the past, it then seems obvious that our present actions, consciously taken with the wish to progress, shape our future as well as our descendants’. So, little by little, our actions and attitudes come to alter ancestral patterns.
Standing the test of reality
Reiyukai is anchored in everyday reality. Life at work and with our friends constitutes, among other things, the ground for a better knowledge of oneself and of the others. Provided we live them in full conscience, relationships with our relatives, colleagues and friends offer very instructive experiences. Becoming aware of how and why people react towards us, as well as the way we react to situations, shows us the way we are. Indeed, when we consider events from someone else’s point of view and feel the way they do, we begin to discern the way they see us. We are then in the process of understanding oneself as well as the others more clearly. We realize how our own actions carry a positive or negative weight on people around us. We can exert a beneficial influence providing we correct our erroneous attitudes.
The deep friendship Reiyukai members strive to create with the people around them brings about the necessary conditions of the concrete and unexpected transformations of their reality.
Compassion, mutual understanding and communion of the hearts
These qualities grow from all the experiences we share and the efforts we make to understand what the others think and feel. Sharing happy times as well as sorrow is essential if one wants to understand their deep causes. That is where the wish to help and encourage others springs from, since we discover their evolution is also ours. As we are becoming more and more aware, it seems obvious that this reciprocity is not limited to the close friend and family circle but that it also includes peoples and nations.
The interrelation between men spreads across the ocean and knows no limits. A nation’s tragedy becomes the whole world’s and so does a nation’s joy. Unfortunately, such a conscience does not often exist: peoples rejoice at the problems encountered by others. They wage war without realizing that killing somebody else means killing a part of oneself. Such an ignorance cannot lead to the founding of a better world.
Reiyukai teaches us that we discover our inner selves as well our common humanity in the relationship to others. We then realize that one’s progress is meaningless unless it contributes to everyone’s progress. Reiyukai is an association whose members strive to put this teaching into practice in their daily lives. It is a network of people who, beyond any national, ethnic or religious border do their best to encourage one another in this path. Their wish progressively widens to all those they encounter, whether Reiyukai members or not, so that everyone makes the most of their capacities by improving themselves as well as the world around them. The ultimate goal is to build a world where people will devote themselves to progressing, a world where men will live their lives, conscious of the consequences of each of their thoughts and of each of their actions, a world they will be proud to pass on to the next generations.