What Milarepa tells me to end my suffering

- through Francois Leclercq

Published on

Through the example of the Tibetan yogi and poet, how can we follow the path of inner transformation?

Let's face it, most of us embark on a spiritual journey to try to romantically or magically escape, it's much the same here in the very often psychic hell of suffering. This was my case when, before my baccalaureate, a certain naivety and innocence led me to hope that following a traditional spiritual path would somehow transform me into a heroine of a modern tale, forever free from suffering. Without realizing it, I imagined that at the end of a story, inevitably short, I would be saved from the evil queen, an unjust and painful life, by masters, saints, with the capacities of Yoda (1 ). My wishes were not granted, and it was a chance. Realizing that the Buddhist path confronts the hero with reality, my search for truth led me to meet Milarepa. And, this is how this master, yogi and Tibetan poet of the XNUMXth-XNUMXth century, became for me the perfect incarnation of the rogue-sorcerer having succeeded in his reconversion. After being the willing victim of his mother – she indeed pushed him to be the greatest black magician in the land – he renounced his destructive powers, accepted the trials that came his way, and became one of the greatest masters. all time. Which seemed to me even more magical than any modern tale!

What did Milarepa teach me?

– That it's never too late to change!

– To look at reality as I perceive it in the moment, without running away from it, without concessions; to become one with it; not to interpret the facts; to live an unconditional "yes" to what is.

– To walk with perseverance and humility towards my inner being; to love me equally unconditionally; and connect with the truth of my experience.

– That the ups and downs of existence remain, but they no longer have the same flavor.

– To learn to love the taste of impermanence, to observe it as a conscious and neutral witness. Note that each time I am faithful to this inner coherence, I experience an infinite gratitude for life, and the joy of approaching with the totality of my being, body and mind, what the Buddha said: " don't believe anything you haven't experienced yourself ». And, when a thought, a belief or an emotion takes me away from this face-to-face with reality, I suffer.

The main lines of its history 

After a happy, affluent and pampered childhood, her father died when Mila was seven years old, leaving him alone with his mother and sister, Peta. Under the pretext of taking charge of the family, her father's brother and her aunt monopolize the family property until Mila comes of age. Greedy, violent, jealous of the happiness that the mother and children had known until then, they mistreat them, beat them, transform them into slaves and deprive them of everything, including sometimes food. At the same time, they organize the spoliation of Mila's property.

The meditator has achieved his goal: realizing the true nature of his mind through the practice of meditation and freeing himself from suffering.

When he comes of age, at the age of fifteen, the young man cannot recover his possessions and the trio is thrown on the roads. Mila's mother, in love with revenge, then sends her son to learn black magic from one of the greatest sorcerers in the country, and threatens to commit suicide if his apprenticeship drags on.

As a good son, Milarepa quickly becomes an expert in black magic and returns home. At his mother's request, he destroys his uncle and aunt's house, kills 35 people invited to the wedding of the son of the house and sends a hailstorm to get revenge on the neighbors who did not help them. His mother is happy, but Milarepa's remorse is immense. Wanting to right his wrongs, he decides to follow the Buddhist path and goes in search of a guru. From incident to incident, he meets "Marpa the Translator" who guides him towards the heights of achievement. Marpa does not look back on Milarepa's past and never doubts his student's ability to reach the highest levels of mind realization. His ruthless training pushes Milarepa to the limit of his physical and emotional abilities; the nature of the ordeals imposed by Marpa leads Milarepa to renounce all expectation, and to confront himself without concessions with impermanence and reality. Until Awakening.

Back home, Milarepa repairs his wrongs before isolating himself for years in a cave. Feeding at the end only on nettles, his skin turns green, and his clothes, rags, reveal his bones. Hunters who see it think it is a ghost. But no matter in Milarepa, the meditator has achieved his goal: to realize the true nature of his mind through the practice of meditation and to free himself from the pain. He died at the age of eighty-four, after a life devoted to the practice and to his disciples.

What Milarepa inspires me on a daily basis 

Milarepa's story is that of an ordinary human being at the beginning of his life. His asceticism, the intensive practice of meditation, shows that we can all, to varying degrees, follow a path of inner transformation that frees us from suffering or rather helps us to no longer identify with the sufferings that pass through us. Provided, however, that we agree to confront ourselves, without concessions, with the reality of what we are, without judgment, and with a neutrality that allows us to take a step back from what we are experiencing, to "take off" ourselves internally from the mind, of the ego, and find the way to his heart

photo of author

Francois Leclercq

François Leclercq is the founder of Buddhist News, a website which aims to disseminate information and practical advice on Buddhism and spirituality. François Leclercq was born and raised in Paris. He studied Buddhism at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, where he graduated in social sciences and psychology. After graduating, he devoted himself to his passion for Buddhism and traveled the world to study and learn about different practices. He notably visited Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Japan and China.

Leave comments