A practitioner of the youth group in Japan once said: “The aim of Reiyukai is to make people smile again and to share moments of happiness”
After my studies, I felt I did not know any longer how to act in the world. I wished for my actions in life to be virtuous but I did not know which way to go. Then I wished to be guided in order to realize this aspiration. That is when I discovered the practice of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law.
As I had kept this wish alive in me, I knew this coincidence was the answer to my question. I began reciting the Sutra and attending meetings while leaving my doubts and my prejudices aside. On top of that, each of these exchanges filled me with joy.
Then my elders suggested I aspired to receive companions. As I did not understand the meaning, I first refused and it took me some time to let go of my stubbornness. Little by little, thanks to my elders’ encouragement and my trust in the practice, I wished the place where I practised would become a place where the Teaching was shared. That summer, I recited the Sutra with several people and welcomed a companion, Marie. At the beginning, she always questioned the practice I suggested, as for example, paying the monthly subscription. This drove me to go and question my elders about the meaning of this subscription and to deepen my own practice. She has now been my companion for five years and has become a sub leader. We form a group of eight members who practice together. The deep link that we share gradually appears and I realize my companions are the key to my transformation. Here are two experiences that testify to the fact.
Wishing to see the deep causes of our sufferings
In January 2020, Marie and I took part in a training session. I heard two important directions to be experienced: “to wish to see our companions’ obstacles” and “to make them our topic of research and repentance when reciting the Sutra in order to be taught by the pure and wide world of the Teaching”. Two days after that session, Marie told me about her own sufferings. I did listen to her carefully with benevolence. Then I turned to my elders who invited me not to get distracted by the different states that appeared but to aspire to see the deep causes of her sufferings i.e. the obstacles in her mind. During my recitation of the Sutra, I asked the spiritual world to help me and Marie called me back during the week. She revealed she could now perceive that she was constantly analysing herself, that her mind, thirsty for research made her suffer and exhausted her. As I wished to depend only on the bases of the Teaching and to avoid ordinary and emotional explanations, I suggested we spoke about her own practice meeting she had trouble organizing and encouraged her to set a date. As for me, while reciting the Sutra, I asked to see how my mind, just as Marie’s, was an obstacle to the discovery of the Teaching. Later I got a call from Regine, my elder’s elder, who asked me how I lived the organization of the seminar in Saint- Malo. She encouraged me then, while reciting the Sutra, to ask the World of the Awakened to support my actions with the wish to share the Teaching with new people. I suggested Marie to do the same for her meeting that was to take place the following week. There were four of us there and Marie told me my suggestion had enabled her to hold a lighter meeting than usual.
Relying on the Teaching in order to look for guidance
Last June, I invited a companion suffering from a psychiatric illness whom I had not seen for ages to attend the Youth seminar. During that seminar, an elder asked me if I thought it was right to have invited her to attend the seminar. I also heard from a member of the Japanese Youth Group whom we had invited: “The aim of Reiyukai is not to gather people encountering problems but to make people smile again and to share moments of happiness”. In the wake of that seminar, the situations where that companion required my help followed one after the other and I realized that no matter what I might do or say, she remained stuck in her ordinary patterns. My help was useless and that relationship became too complex for me.
I realized then that I had accompanied her with my ordinary ideas, my “kind heart” but that I had not really relied on the Teaching in order to look for guidance. So I became aware she was only practising not to feel alone in front of her problems and did not wish to become autonomous, to transform herself and to overcome her obstacles. That’s the way I learned to have a firm and benevolent relationship with her. I can see clearly now that an inner determination is necessary in order to enter the world of the Teaching. That is why it does work with Marie, because she deeply wishes to overcome her obstacles, her ancestors’ and her companions’.