In the summer of 2015, forty Reiyukai members, including me, were offered to go to Japan, the Founders’ birthplace, to accomplish a practice I knew nothing about. Going to Japan was something difficult for me and yet I accepted to do it. As soon as I set foot on the Japanese soil,within the scope of this practice, I did not feel very well at all. At that time I thought it was due to the heat and to my dislike of package tours but it has now become clear for me that, what appeared then was engendered by my ancestors’ condition. Besides, I had undertaken genealogical research a few weeks before and discovered that some of my ancestors who were in a position of power had probably accomplished bad actions with negative consequences. The whole trip was difficult for me to put up with until we came to Mirokusan, a place dedicated to filial respect and to Maitreya Buddha, the buddha of the heart and compassion.
When I was there, I felt my resistance getting fiercer. I was to make a speech in front of the assembly the next day. I can still picture myself being so panic-stricken the previous evening that I had expressed my feelings to an elder. Retrospectively, I am very grateful to her for her attitude towards me as she did not try to comfort me in an ordinary way nor did she let herself be involved in a discussion I was trying to strike up. She simply told me : « It is the right moment to let go, it is the right moment to ask and to take refuge.»
I had a bad night as if I was torn apart by a dispute between my ancestors’ negative and positive aspects. I had the feeling my resistance was also some of theirs and I sincerely asked to be able to let go. All night long I recited: « Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo » while asking to find my way towards positivity and towards the light.
In the morning, when I expressed myself in public, I clearly remember I had the feeling that someone was speaking through me and I also clearly remember the vision I had. It was a vision of the sea, of the rising sun and of my grandmother, my father’s mother. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I expressed the lack of gratitude for this woman for whom my heart largely opened up at that very moment. What I precisely remember is that I had a feeling of completeness. It was a powerful, cheerful condition in which I felt I was connected to the cosmos. This feeling had disappeared in the afternoon…For the following two years, that elder would regularly ask me if I had had this feeling and done this experience again. I had to admit that I had not.
I have recently been able to hear more clearly something that is also written in the Lotus Sutra : that there are two worlds, the ordinary one which is subject to our senses, our desires, our conceptions and that the present condition of this world is related to our ancestors’ actions. But I can also hear that there is another world, the world of the Teachings, an invisible world, a spiritual world peopled with the Awakened. I can hear that the Lotus sutra is like a key to enter this world.
This summer I was faced with an upsetting situation in the ordinary world which violently clashed with the world of my attachments and engendered great pain for me. But I can see now that these circumstances enabled me to make the following experience.
I immediately had the intuition that it was an ancestral situation again and I really tried to take refuge in the Teachings and in the world of the Awakened. So I read many a sutra but this time I did not let the filters of my conceptions intervene. It made me feel extremely vulnerable but it permitted my real inner self to express itself. One morning in particular, I remember I had read several sutras when I felt the urge to go and recite the Lotus Sutra on that very same grandmother’s grave. It was only a few hundred metres away so I walked there, holding my sutra under my arm. As I was a few metres from the graveyard, I felt the wind like a light breeze on my cheek and then I had a vision : it was not the wind I was feeling but it was my grandmother’s breath. What I would say today is that it was a very positive, very generous, very warm energy which both comforted me and helped me feel stronger. So, I read the Sutra by her grave and I made the same experience as I had had in Japan two years earlier. I experienced the same feeling of completeness. This feeling has not left me since…
In the wake of this experience I spent a first day with my father during which we talked a lot about our ancestors although my father, who is pragmatic and has no real interest in this topic, does not usually speak much. But that day, he was happy to evoke memories I knew nothing about. The day after, we both went to see his father’s grave and the street where he lived as a child. It was not a very large street but I will always remember that moment, because at every door and every window he would tell me the story of his childhood. We had a marvellous time together and I could see how happy he was to live thoandse moments. Of course I shared his happiness but above all, I felt that it was my grandmother’s deed. In fact, what we were living together was not due to our ordinary capacities, there was something else acting through us.
This state of mind, which has not left me since, makes me extremely happy. When having access to the sutra and making such experiences, I realize how important it is to share them with other people even if we risk being misunderstood or laughed at. What does it matter? We have this role to play and there is no personal merit in having access to these dimensions. It is possible for everyone of us and reading the sutra will lead us there.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to present the latest Training Session. I normally play my role, using my small own energy, my small ideas, my ego. This time, I really asked to be at the service of the assembly and to be helped, so I felt my heart opening up to people. It was extremely strong. When I came back after the Session, I met a colleague, someone I cannot usually be in contact with and I admit I don’t let myself be approached either. Yet, we have been able to get closer just as I had with my father.
I feel quite confident in the fact that we are going to practise together soon. He is the same type as me. He is full of ideas, he thinks and he reads a lot. I will have to help him have access to another world but I know that I can do it in the same way as others have done it for me.