How to transmit the Teaching? How to enable practitioners to regularly connect themselves to this teaching which leads to compassion and wisdom?
All year long meetings are organized: they are open to Reiyukai members and to everyone wishing to discover this teaching.
The experiences transmitted during these meetings are good examples of the progress everyone makes when realizing the teaching and encourage people to carry on walking on the path.
Groups of Practice: a place for privileged exchanges
The person thanks to whom people connect themselves to the Reiyukai Teaching is called “the elder” and the new member “the companion”. The word “elder” evokes that this person has become a member before the companion and it has nothing to do with hierarchy. Welcoming a practice companion means beginning a relationship marked with a particular quality. The deep and essential nature of this link will be gradually revealed while following this path of practice together. Reflecting the “initiation family” of the traditional sangha, Reiyukai proposes members to build up groups of practice in which “elders and companions” create deep and essential links filled with confidence; these are gatherings where everyone, either a new member or a more expert elder has a place and can humbly express their practice and its results. During the monthly Group of Practice Gatherings they can share the Teaching they are discovering: everyone can express the concrete experiences produced by their actions and nourished with the essential principles of the Teaching. These moments represent the basic part of the practice in which the living experiences are like guides for the other members of the assembly. Mutual confidence and a deep confidence in the veracity of the Teaching too, gradually emerge. Groups of practice gatherings form a privileged place where the living transmission of Buddha’s Teaching is being realized.
Personal experiences: the concrete realization of the Dharma
How to transform our reality by practising together for the others’ happiness and progress? This is what personal experiences illustrate. They describe the actions accomplished with this state of mind and their results.
In Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra, Buddha is questioning himself: “How to enable human beings to enter the supreme path and rapidly realize Buddhahood?” If members question themselves this way, they will comprehend their companions’ realities in a more appropriate way. They will then see their limits, their obstacles on the way to progress and, as a consequence, they will also become conscious of their own limits. They will also naturally be driven to develop qualities to accompany their companions. Gradually their hearts, minds, humanity and environments will be purified. Such are the concrete experiences shared within the Groups of Practice Gatherings, whose aim is to progress together on the way.
So as to enable everyone to have access to the Teaching, quarterly gatherings are held in the ten regions of France where practitioners live as well as in Europe. Members belonging to different Groups of practice attend them and share their experiences and the teachings.
Similarly to the meetings described in the Lotus Sutra, specific moments are intended for the elders of Practice Circles (Circle leaders) who know that they must widen their mind to open the way for their companions. They remain learning bodhisattvas. These meetings enable them again to hear the purpose and the method of our practice as well as the fundamental principles of the Teaching. Being made lively by personal experiences which are like living parables, they clarify the meaning of the Teaching and create fruitful exchanges.
Through “personal experiences “- such as have been described before as the result of a bodhisattva’s practice – all Reiyukai members whatever their practice levels have consequently access to deeper and deeper and more and more subtle teachings as the quality of their aspiration develops.
Every year, a national seminary is held. It gathers all the members wishing to exchange their experiences and share them with new people. This moment is both deep and lively. Indeed the people who meet there, are all striving to take part in the creation of a more harmonious and peaceful society.