What is this teaching for each of you?
This teaching leads to the total acceptance of life, to surrender to life. On this path, different tools are used, such as self-observation and the discovery of the mechanisms that trap ourselves. Body consciousness is a big piece, as well as welcoming useful suffering.
For me, it is the learning of how to accept the necessary suffering that takes place all the time, and also for the smallest things. For example, this morning, when I was sorting the jars by size, for example, I removed everything, cleaned them all: for me, it illustrates the fact that I always go a little further on very small details of this kind, very pragmatic.
It all comes to “everything is equally important”, the symbiosis, the fact of appreciating the lid on the jar as much as the neighbor, of no longer distinguishing between the others, me and the piece of paper.
I’m doing brain weeding. Divine love grows its own plants.
For me, this teaching is the constant practice of accepting all kinds of necessary sufferings, from great sufferings to minor annoyances. But to get there, I had to go through the first step of becoming aware of the distortions created by filters of ideas and judgments. It was a huge burden, and it often overwhelmed me, but it allowed me to move on to the current stage.
For me, it means living what we have to live, within a fraternity, and then continuing to live it when we are not together, and accompanying each other in the self-realization.
What comes to me is transparency, or the fact of being very alive, but empty, in the sense that there are no borders, no limits. Without limits, no resistance, it becomes easier to welcome life. Body consciousness goes with this kind of emptiness, transparency.
An absence of solidity?
Yeah, that’s right. It is the permanent dissolution of the crystallization of a resistance. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it is tested at every moment, in practice and real life, here or elsewhere. But here you can see yourself in the mirror of others.
I like the idea of brain weed control: keep an eye on the weeds that grow. Observing the mechanisms of identity has helped me a lot in removing the doubt.
When one is in body consciousness, there is no doubt. Both are incompatible.
The important point for me is the discovery of body consciousness. It really goes through it, I can easily spot an unnecessary tension that is due to judgment, or self-pity, or something like that. It is acceptance while in body consciousness, having the mind full of emptiness.
And how do you live in society, with your children, your husband, your neighbors? Do you feel out of step sometimes?
No, not at all.
It doesn’t matter what their judgements are, what their prejudices are?
No, but I’m fortunate to have an environment where there is little judgment, so I’m really comfortable.
One important thing for me is vigilance. And this vigilance is out of time. Before, I imagined that there would be an event, with a before and an after. Now, there is simply the task at hand in the moment, and it is true that it makes things easier. Compared to all these ideas of an awakening that happens one day and settles everything, I saw that it doesn’t work that way. Vigilance is at every moment, without any idea of the future. Currently, I have the impression that there is much less of this objective-oriented calculation.
In addition to what has been said, what is very important for me is to identify and denounce the personal lie. It is a fundamental basis for being open to the rest.
It plays a role especially for those who may have the idea of leaving this teaching. That’s when it starts to take on its full value.
For me it is above all a basis of commitment to oneself.
Of course, it’s a base. But if the initial commitment is not 100%, you can still start the work. Then, we must regularly question ourselves, especially when we encounter personal lies. If we don’t do it, there’s a lie, two lies, it happens very quickly, and on the third one, we leave.
Yes, and there’s nothing you can do about it, because the more you point, the more it anchors the defence in the other. It is fundamental, a hundred percent commitment to oneself. With this, we accept the necessary suffering, we accept everything. Everyone evolves with his construction, his education, his individuality, but the common point for me is a hundred percent commitment and denouncing personal lies. I heard Stephen Jourdain talk about it, and I thought his words were very strong.
It has to be truly total: the commitment must involve denouncing personal lies at all times. The temptation may be less strong at first, but after a while, the identity wants to regain the upper hand through personal lies, and then we really have to denounce it, because otherwise we erase everything we have done for years!
I’d like to testify, because the subject is very relevant. For a few weeks now, I’ve been thinking about leaving this teaching. Previously when such thoughts arose, I could easily dismiss them, but now they come and go, and tend to solidify. Of course, I think it would be crazy to do that, because I know that my life would literally be hell if I hadn’t had this teaching. I wanted to talk about it, because even though I don’t plan to leave right now, I see this process taking place.
Where did that come from? You must have an idea.
It is true that at times there is a failure to accept the necessary suffering. But above all I have the impression that after having made a lot of progress on the body consciousness, I lost a lot again, as if I had made two steps forward and suddenly ten steps back.
Is there discouragement?
Yes, discouragement , that’s it, exactly.
We need to distinguish between natural and personal motivation. I saw that you’ve come a long way with your personal motivation… but it has to end one day. I don’t want to say that all the efforts you have made are bad, because in the beginning they are essential, so don’t question them. But there comes a moment where you have to let go of that too, and enter into another dynamic, that of natural motivation. You have to let go of that personal side of motivation.
Yeah, because it fits an expectation, and it’s part of the fake. We must enter into this necessary suffering of acceptance of impermanence. It’s like you say, “every job deserves a salary,” No! I am often there too: there is a kind of patience to have. It will come naturally, not out of the desire for it to come.
I can tell you for having lived through it, that it is terrible to have done everything and to see that: “I have nothing left of all my personal efforts,” it is very hard. That’s one of the things that a lot of people here will have to go through. Only then can we move on to the next step, but we must be completely exhausted. There are masters, like Rajnesh for example, who exhausted people until they really couldn’t do it anymore! And you’re there: you’ve done everything you can do on your side, and now you have to let go, and let life take its course.
And be patient… Just because we let go doesn’t mean that life responds immediately.
I can tell you that I went through this for a few years, and I lived in a no-man’s-land. I didn’t understand what was happening to me, I didn’t think anything was worth it. That’s when I happened to meet Yvan Amar. For years, I had given up everything of my so-called spiritual quest, everything was exhausted. And Yvan Amar kind of turned me on again. I still remember telling him, “Look, I tried everything, nothing worked, I went to India, pfft…” He asked me if there was still a little flame there somewhere. I said, “Yes, but really very, very small, very small.” He just said, “Just make sure it doesn’t go out completely.” That’s it, that’s all. And then it exploded. We have to go through this. It’s a despair, more than a despair, sometimes. It’s a total dislocation, when you know you can’t do anything anymore. Then something happens. This is really an important step.
To you, S., I would say to cling seriously to this sincerity which belongs to you, it is really the manifestation of this little flame.
Welcoming… not even suffering, it’s beyond suffering when you can’t do anything. We’re totally humble, helpless.
There is a very beautiful Sufi story on this theme: it is the story of a river that arrives in the desert, and in the desert, it dries up, it does not manage to cross it. Then she hears the wind telling her: “Trust me, trust me,” and little by little the drops of water pass through the wind and arrive at the sea.
Welcome it as the crossing of the desert, or as the dark night of the soul: you know that you can do nothing more on your side. It’s beyond all suffering, and that’s part of it.
In fact, to put it another way, it’s not that you can’t do anything, it’s that you can’t do anything more. You’ve come to a point where you can’t move on. On the other hand, if you don’t maintain vigilance, you can step back, so you still have to stay there.
Of course, but when I did, sometimes I didn’t know if I was really vigilant. It’s a huge experience to see that, despite all the efforts, it’s screwed up every day, four, five, ten times!
Is that a must?
I’m afraid, yes.
I’ve been thinking to myself for several years now, “I’ve gained so much comfort in my life that I could stop here.”
Yes, it’s also a trap.
Is that personal motivation?
Yes, it is the motivation of personality, of identity, but it is necessary in the beginning, because we have nothing else. All we have is his personal motivation to start a job.
But beware: some spiritual experiences, the discovery of a more comfortable life, this is the carrot that we put in front of the donkey. I gave the example of football players who only really play well when the sun is shining; when it rains, they are put on the reserve bench.
For me, the essence of this teaching is learning to accept useful suffering. Then, all that we have evoked is part of this: we cannot accept useful suffering if we are in the lie, we cannot do it if we are not in the body consciousness. And it is essential to know how to distinguish between useful and useless. So here are the tools to acquire this know-how which ultimately allows us to live life as it is in the moment, to live real life. The acceptance of useful suffering is the prerequisite, and then God decides.
Welcoming constraints is also part of it.
The constraints, the unforeseen, the annoyances, that’s all of it. It has been called “useful suffering,” but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is simply accepting what is in the moment. Welcome what’s in the moment, whatever it is.
And denouncing useless suffering: it is necessary not to accept it.
That’s why I came to the conclusion that everything else is at the service of acquiring this know-how.
It’s not having conditions on life. I don’t have a “if,” I don’t expect anything specific, I don’t have any criteria to say “this is good, this isn’t good.”
And of course, symbiosis is a result. I can’t tell the difference between the table and me anymore, if I accept everything in the moment.
I would add that we must always say thank you to life, whether it is good or bad, because it is a gift. What you are experiencing right now, S., is a gift for you. It’s a gift when it’s fluid, but it is a gift as well when nothing goes wrong, and it’s very important to bring it up to the same level, even if it’s very uncomfortable. To see where comfort or discomfort come from: it is not from outside, it is not the event that is important, it is the inner experience of the event. And even in the worst moments: “Thank you!” Sometimes I get impatient: “How long will it last?” but “thank you!”
You can also consider that this state of platitude, of discouragement, is the identity that is being consumed. Everything is reduced to ashes, there is nothing more important than the death of identity. This process can absorb all your energies. The energies you had before, linked to personal motivations, everything is absorbed in there, everything is caught up in this process of disintegration of identity. And it’s essential to go through that. It could last a few weeks, a few months, a few years, whatever. Anyway, when it’s there, you don’t have a choice. In fact, without knowing how, what you wanted happens.
Yes, it’s the death of the motivation of identity.
You made a decision at one point, with your whole being: to go to the end of yourself. Now you have the consequences of that decision, so it’s about taking responsibility. That’s what’s happening to you right now.