I lost my mother when I was 31 and my father at 36. When my mother died, I told myself that she would inform me if there was something else after death. And I got several messages including one about my health: «you have cancer there» and I was shown my right breast .
I actually underwent the removal of my breast. When I woke up, I heard «you have done it yourself, now you must «undo» it. I understood that the emotional upheaval generated by my parents’ loss had created that disease.
How can we question the existence of the Spiritual World after such information?
Then I encountered a Japanese practice called Regenerating Movement, that I attended for eight years. I also practised Japanese archery. I had to fight against my mind to allow myself to achieve such a feat. Thanks to my sister, I also discovered Reiki, another Japanese practice. I attended a five-year course which required much perseverance and involvement. At the beginning of this course, I had heard: «Be careful with the words you use, they can change the world around you». At that time I was completely unconscious of the law of causes and effects. I was a lively person, I talked a lot, I became conscious I had to change my behaviour and it took me at least five years to accomplish such transformation. This practice helped me understand my emotional obstacles and free myself from them. I was cured and at that time, I was working as the headmistress of a special needs educational dvision in a secondary school when one of my colleagues invited me to discover Reiyukai, a lay Buddhist movement from Japan once again. Why did the Spiritual World suggest that? To start this practice I had to go beyond my family conceptions and get rid of the fears transmitted by my mother. I committed myself to doing it but not without any resistance. During the first meeting I was overwhelmed by a great anger when I realized I had to change again: I had been doing so for more than 20 years wholeheartedly… My ego thought it was over!!! The second meeting I attended was the National Seminary in Nantes where my husband had accepted to take me. There I heard Cécile say that the deceased needed us to improve… My sensitiveness towards the Invisible World helped me realize that I was at the right place because a few years before, a message from my mother had asked me «to help my father who had remained tied to this world».
From one awakening to another
As I was rebellious, I did not understand what my elders told me….but however, thanks to what I had learnt from my former practices, I knew I had to keep on. I did not understand what the link elder-companion and the «mirror» effect were. It took me a long time to realize I did not know myself… To help me, I told myself my lineage bore the the same obstacles as my companions and that it was necessary for me to go on. I was conscious that the most difficult the relationships with my companions were, the most useful the encounters became when it came to my transformation. Criticism and judgement were replaced with that benevolence I so often lacked.
I had read in the Sutra that the second practice of transformation consisted in showing respect to one’s parents and heard that it was important to make genealogical research. I loved my parents in a very ordinary way but it was really difficult for me to respect the choice they had made…. I was born from their union although they were brother and sister-in-law from a first marriage. You can imagine the sufferings it had engendered in my half-brothers and sisters. I was deeply ashamed of my birth and was filled with anger. How couldn’t they have mastered their love? However I had the feeling I was not suffering since everything was repressed inside me. I did not know this inner discomfort was a real suffering. I finally accepted their story and stopped judging their love.
On one of her visits, Mrs Nakabayashi had expressed how, thanks to the link with her companions, she had changed her mind and heart for her husband and how their life had changed too… I then realized that, even if I loved my husband I was reproducing a kind of matriarchy in our couple, a matriarchy which had been present for ages in all the women of my family: is this the reason why I feel so close to the foundress whereas there is little place for the founder inside me and why I pay for my daughter’s and grand-daughters’ subscriptions but not for my son-in-law’s? I was not very proud of that awareness and decided to change those ways of thinking. In my family we don’t see men’s qualities first but rather their failings and defects….My married female companions have difficult couple relationships, others are single. Maybe we should try to improve the way we think about men and make efforts to change. Today, I apply the teaching to myself by watching my language and my thoughts towards my husband. It turns out to be a hard and demanding work of every moment now that we are both retired. Why do I think I am always right? What an inflated ego in need of clearing !
When I started to practise, I placed my altar in a room upstairs, behind the door then in a recess of the dining-room. Finally as my companions became more numerous, my husband fitted a whole room out as a place where 25 people could gather. He said:«You will have to organize two meetings instead of one because this room is already too small». Let me remind you that he was the one who took me to my first seminary ! As the mainstay of my practice, he is also always ready to look after our grand-daughters when my companions come or when I leave for a meeting. I may add that I can see my presence is not essential at home. I’m learning to give my husband some space and to leave the world of the ego.
A new awareness of the meaning of links
All my life I have helped, almost physically carried the people who came to me. Reiyukai has freed me from the burden of advising, of supporting others….As I wish for everyone’s improvement, my role is to encourage them to enter the path, to demonstrate through my own actions that it is possible, even easy providing one takes one’s life in hand. I have given up wanting everyone to feel all right : I let everyone choose while listening to them but without acting in their places. What I keep in mind as important is that, without Thierry my elder, I wouldn’t have dared develop a practice family. Thanks to his benevolent presence he has helped me get rid of my fears: he has enabled me to act simply, in spite of my defects, and given me the strength to open the door of my house and heart without being frightened. Sylvie, Corine, Isabelle, Cecile and I, are walking on the same path together. Now I am able to understand their involvement, which I used to think of as extreme, their ethics and their way of life.
Some people I had known within the scope of my other practices have joined me on this way. It is easy for me to welcome companions but few of them welcome companions in their turns. When we were in Japan in 2015, I learnt that the foundress, Mrs Kotani had had a place to practice built for young people and dedicated to Maitreya Buddha, the buddha of benevolent love, the next Buddha to be incarnated on earth. I had heard about the importance of being connected to Maitreya Buddha in order to welcome new companions but I had erected a kind of barrier between this Buddha and me. When we came to that place of practice, I expressed my repentance for this aloofness. I told him: «I don’t know you but, if you agree, I’m ready to give you a place in my heart.» I was far from imagining that this «world» was so «reactive and alive»! I felt as if I was filled with a vibration, a beautiful emotion which showed me how much alive Buddha could be! In front of Mount Fudji I asked the world of the Awakened to send me all the people ready to discover this practice and I promised to act for Normandy and to do so to leave it to the Enlightened, to the buddhas and to my elders. Once home, my group developed very quickly. Most of the members wish to welcome their practice family. When people appear by waves, my «ordinary» personality is scared but my elders support me, and help my anxiety melt away and we progress together.
The spiritual world offers us parts in the theatre plays of our lives in order to go beyond our sufferings. Let us consider our hardships with another state of consciousness. Let us watch our life companions, companions and acquaintances and realize they are only here to help us discover what needs to be transformed ! My determination is growing: I feel carried away by this teaching, and my companions get more and more involved and determined too.