The lockdown also gives birth to deep personal experiences… « Reciting the Lotus Sutra raises bodhisattva’s burgeoning qualities inside us. »
A few days ago I had a phone call from my brother during the night: he was greatly distressed. I listened to him for several hours, trying to reassure him. The following day my nearest relatives noticed how gloomy and upset I was so they suggested I should get in touch with a practice elder. I felt anxious but I did not realize how dull I was and what it produced on people around me.
Despite my utter resistance, I called an elder and I heard that I could recite the Sutra, offering it more precisely to the ancestors who were in the same condition. I heard that, in spite of my regular recitations I remained in a mental and emotional dimension and that from now on I could recite the Sutra, confident that our ancestors and the Awakened were actually living entities. That was what I did. I called my brother and invited him to listen to my recitation. I then noticed he was becoming more peaceful. As for me I felt calm and connected to wider dimensions.
I called my companions the next day. They too were prostrated with anxiety, trapped in their mental state. I recited the Lotus Sutra with them and told them what I had heard about the intention to have in mind and what I had experienced. They experimented organised collective recitations with their companions. I attended the regional meeting in Norman Switzerland. A former practice companion called me and I called an old friend of yore, feeling linked to the mental frailties he had. Enriched with this experience I felt cheerful and free from anxiety but I was not aware I was becoming an arrogant sermonizer. As I went on reciting the Sutra, I could see how mentally unstable I was, how I lacked perception and gratitude regarding the Teaching as well as the links I had forged with other people thanks to it.
New levels of consciousness to be explored
Since then I accompany my direct companions when they organize phone conferences and I am confident in the fact that these actions liberate us, liberate our ancestors and will liberate other people linked to these ancestral conditions. This lockdown helps me perceive how the Teaching contained in the Lotus Sutra and in Maitreya’s Sutra is deep, essential and powerful.
Thanks to the Teaching I am beginning to see deeper sides of my humanity, of my ancestors’ and my companions’ conditions. I had often heard that I was a heavy thinker but I could not see that my mind could lead me to madness and harm people around me. In the leaders’ newsletter Gilles wrote : « It is essential to accept the idea that most of the time our thoughts and behaviour are erroneous even if we believe that we are « not that bad »(…) and I can attest it. There are always other levels of consciousness to be explored, even and especially when we are full of absolute certainties.
Having a simple, focused and regular practice
Since then I have been trying to put into action the simple practice we are suggested to do, with simplicity, concentration and regularity. The action of reciting the Sutra, of sharing this recitation and of encouraging others to share it too wears off our different states, brings about an opening of our heart and consciousness and creates inner joy and peace. My anxiety towards events has changed into confidence that the Spiritual World, Nature and the Awakened bring us the right conditions in order to reform ourselves in a deep and essential way. Despite our ordinary humanity, our incapacities and our negativity, reciting the Sutra raises bodhisattva’s burgeoning qualities inside us.