Myoken Eric Salaün: going to the heart of his life

- through Fabrice Groult

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Like the phoenix, a marvelous symbol of resilience, Eric Salaün has lived several lives. This former graphic designer, who became a chef, now provides meditation programs.

Twice, he said stop when the professional motivation was no longer there and branched off to change paths. Radically. A graduate of the École Estienne, which provides training in graphic arts, he took his first steps, for fifteen years, in publishing, advertising and graphic arts. He designed logos and created new magazine formats in the print media. The profession of graphic designer having become “very repetitive and much less creative” since its computerization, he trained in six months in the profession of… cook. From 1999, for seventeen years, his chef's hat took him from the Eiffel Tower restaurant to corporate kitchens, including those of cruise ships. In 2008, he discovered zazen – “a revelation, I had tears in my eyes” – and decided, some time later, to introduce others to this practice which changed his life. For a year, convinced that this tool can help those he meets "to become more authentic, more intimate with themselves by turning their gaze inward » he teaches meditation, his new job, this famous “job” which, etymological contraction of the Latin words “ministry” and “mystery”, refers to “mysterious ministries”.

Sit down, without expectations or goals

The trigger was made, in Paris, one day in 2008. In search of a place to practice, he surfs the internet and “by chance” comes across an address located in the 20th arrondissement of the capital. “I who thought I was arriving in a dojo, here I am on the 8th floor in front of an apartment door. An old lady comes to open the door to me, I'm confused, I was probably wrong. It is not so, she tells me to come in and hurry up, because I am late. This lady was Josy Thibaut, my master's mother. An 84-year-old woman, with a lot of character, but also a lot of affection, with whom I shared the practice until her death in 2017, at the age of 92, "he says.

Ten years ago, he became a disciple of master Kosen (Stéphane Thibaut) who was very close to master Deshimaru and was, after the latter's death, one of the three monks to receive the transmission by the highest authority of Soto Zen in Japan, master Niwa Zenji.

“Zazen helps us to become more authentic, more intimate with ourselves by turning their gaze inward. »

In 2014, Eric Salaün was ordained a Zen Buddhist monk. Today he is the coordinator of the Dojo Zen de Paris. For the past two years, he has been training in secular meditation, twelve months at the Esprit Clair training institute, an eighteen-month cycle, which ends in December, to become an MBSR instructor (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction / Stress Reduction , suffering based on mindfulness meditation). He has become an instructor and trainer in the association Mindfulness Solidaire and leads evenings of secular meditations as part of the collective project Méditer Autres, as well as weekends, courses and retreats. “So, simply sitting down, without expectations, without goals, it's not about extracting oneself from life, but on the contrary meeting, discovering oneself, going to the heart of one's life. Become intimate with yourself, in simplicity and gentleness, ”he wrote on his Facebook page.

photo of author

Fabrice Groult

Fabrice Groult is an adventurer, photographer and Buddhist who has traveled the world since a young age. After studying Buddhism in India, he embarked on an eighteen-month journey through Asia that took him to the Himalayas, where he discovered his passion for photography. Since then, he has traveled the world capturing images of Buddhist beauty and wisdom. He was a guide for ten years, and is now a journalist with Buddhist News.

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