Stop the race for enlightenment and absolute happiness

- through Sophie Solere

Published on

Whether you are a Buddhist or not, the literature and conferences around Awakening, a guarantee of absolute happiness, make you dream. According to the main clichés and the more or less erroneous interpretations that are made of them, this realization means, for ordinary mortals, the possibility of putting an end to the sufferings they endure; the chance to finally be able to access paradises that would make even the most recalcitrant dream of this type of illusion or, failing that, the opportunity to demonstrate an unfailing inner peace. But these promises are only binding on those who keep them, as a famous popular saying reminds us. For what ? Decryption necessarily fragmented and personal.

What my experience in a Buddhist environment and in the world of personal development has shown me: awakening, for an average practitioner, generally signs the possibility of finally experiencing a padded happiness devoid of any suffering, the accomplishment of a path most often very long since it takes place over several lives, and obtaining the supreme card in the complicated game of existence: “You have won, you are a Buddha”. The Buddha being considered, here, as a human being similar to each one of us, which is, let's face it, motivating since it means that we too can achieve it. My intensive attendance at the centers, all schools combined, however, made me notice that by dint of wanting to reach in a single incarnation theAwakening – good student syndrome -, many apprentice disciples cling to concepts that lead them to adopt rigid moral behaviors, because they are often meaningless and not to become aware of what the founding and universal principles of Buddhism really are, which would give them the possibility of applying them very concretely on a daily basis. The race for wisdom too often takes disciples away from their truth, and therefore from themselves.

For a non-Buddhist, Awakening, by simplifying a lot, is most often a state of great serenity, obtained in particular thanks to methods such as the meditation of the Mindfulness or other practices intended to put an end to negative emotions, in particular by developing benevolence, generosity, compassion, etc. All this allowing to be, in theory, in constructive and harmonious links with oneself and the others.

The race for wisdom too often takes disciples away from their truth, and therefore from themselves.

In any case, if you look back at the reality on the ground, what do you see? That the number of so-called enlightened beings is quite small. More and more young masters and tulkus testify to this and tell without jargon what they really are behind the appearances and political conventions of Buddhism. This is particularly the case of the 17e Karmapa and Mingyur Rinpoche.

Do not run after Awakening at the risk of getting lost

The observation is that Awakening begins when we stop looking for it; that we stop wanting to apply without understanding the real meaning of concepts such as interdependence, compassion, wisdom, karma, conditioned co-production, principles that remain for most practitioners for a long time relatively devoid of flesh in the reality of everyday life; that we give up running after the recognition of teachers. Stop hiding the truth of what we are behind concepts causes realizations that are sometimes difficult to cross in the moment. Tightening of the plexus, twitching of the stomach, legs that falter a little, shortness of breath, this feeling of losing ground, of no longer having any bearings, of no longer knowing who we are, often leads to a moment of panic. In this temporary wandering of the mind, let us remember that nothing lasts, and let us concretely meditate body and mind united on this reality of impermanence, and reread the stories of the mad Himalayan yogis and the wandering Zen masters of the centuries. past, which have shown us a path of wisdom that we can all take if we have the courage. Their message is timeless: free from principles, conventions, understanding that it was futile to want to obtain anything on a spiritual path, including the realization of enlightenment, they flowed simply and humbly into the burning simplicity of the moment, saying an unconditional yes to reality.

Thus, it is therefore by going towards oneself that the truth of reality occurs and that we are crossed by a spontaneous letting go which does not result from any will. As this Mahayana master says, “When you are not practicing, rivers are rivers and mountains are mountains. When you practice, rivers are no longer rivers and mountains are no longer mountains. When you attain Enlightenment, the rivers become rivers again and the mountains become mountains again”.

photo of author

Sophie Solere

Sophie Solère is an economic and social journalist who has been interested for years in the environment and interdependence. She works for Buddhist News, a media platform dedicated to Buddhist spirituality and wisdom. By practicing yoga and meditative dance, Sophie discovered the power of spiritual journeys, which offer so many paths to (re)find yourself. She is dedicated to sharing inspiring stories and valuable advice on spiritual practice and the environment with Buddhist News readers.

Leave comments