Opening up my heart
« Thanks to Reiyukai I began to open up my heart. »
My name is Yan. I have been practising for five years and a half. In this period I began to become really conscious of my elitist, arrogant and competitive tendencies and my difficulty to be in a simple, relaxed, non-judging, benevolent and warm-hearted link with others. I remember my first seminar: I could not bear to be with so many people I had nothing to say to and who did not really interest me. During the evening party I left and walked by myself in the countryside.
Thanks to Reiyukai I began to open up my heart to my family, to the companions I was lucky enough to welcome and to a variety of people from all walks of life whereas I more or less consciously used to choose the people I saw, people who apparently could be useful to me or who enabled me to stand out. Little by little I am discovering a sweeter and sweeter, more relaxed and harmonious life which springs from the growing interest I have for others, barriers which collapse even if there is still a lot to be done!
Accepting the unknown
Last year, I decided to form a team of three people to enter a Slam tournament (a form of poetry delivered in public). I had invited a friend who had a talent for writing, which made him very happy. We looked for a third person. I asked the association I belonged to, whether one of the slammers I knew was free but they suggested Paul, a young man I did not know very well to join our team. My first reaction was quite negative: I wanted to choose the members of my team, people I knew, because I wanted to win. As I practise Reiyukai, I noticed my negative state of mind, I reformed my behaviour and I welcomed this new relationship offered to me. While we were rehearsing for the tournament, Paul enabled us to do things that neither my colleague nor myself had ever tried to do such as improvising poetry, even if it meant saying silly things which came to our minds and above all, having fun. The literary and uptight highbrow I am really needed that! After the tournament Paul and I happened to be on the same train and I talked to him about the practice but it did not go any further. And then we lost contact….
Last February as I was beginning to be filled with negative states, I went to my altar to put myself into question and asked how to fulfil my bodhisattva’s role. At the end of my recitation, I had a look at my phone: there was a message from Paul. It was clear for me! However I still had to overcome resistance before daring to offer him to practise but when I did, I was delighted to see he was willing to come and discover it. Sure he was interested but it was not possible as the meetings did not fit into his own schedule.
Assuming my bodhisattva’s role
Then came the coronavirus epidemic and the lockdown. My first reaction was to rejoice: staying at home, seeing nobody, reading books, working at my personal projects, all of that actually pleased me. Once again as I had been practising for some time, I realized there was something wrong in my too much self-centred attitude and I learnt to see that living that way only did not actually make me deeply happy. So in front of my altar I asked how to fulfil my role with others in this period. I must acknowledge that my aspiration was not quite sincere at the beginning: I was afraid to be given too much work which would deprive me of my little comfort. How coy that bodhisattva was! Three days later when my aspiration had become more sincere, I managed to Skype with my younger brother, my niece and my nephew. That had never happened to me before! On the same day my niece called me again to ask me to read her a story on the phone. I felt that being at the others’ service was a first task tailored to my ability. And this made me deeply happy! That very week many companions contacted me by themselves and two people I had invited to discover the practice, one of them being Paul, attended a meeting by phone and started to practise.
Enlarging my heart
As I was encouraged by this experience, I went on asking what I could do for other people in this period a bit more sincerely and I expressed this determination at the following meeting. On the same day I was contacted to make humorous videos for old people confined to their houses. My first reaction was negative because of all the work it represented, voluntary work which was not very useful for my artistic career. I rapidly corrected my mind as I realized I was offered the possibility to put my skills to others’ use in a very simple, suitable and, after all, cheerful way. I can see that this possibility to entertain people was an excellent training ground to progress, to subdue my ego, enlarge my heart, make me more human and slowly become someone whose purpose was to please others in an unselfish way.