For me, being a Buddhist means experiencing every moment of your life as fully as possible.
We all go through moments of pain and sorrow, of more or less acute difficulties. Buddhism shows us that it is possible to work concretely with these situations, not to be satisfied with always blaming the external circumstances or the others and thus to become truly adult.
The Buddha invites us to be ever more precise and concerned about what we experience, our thoughts, our emotions and our actions. In this sense, Buddhism does not proceed from an act of faith or the acquisition of doctrinal knowledge. God is even absent from this tradition. The Buddha's teaching is to enter into a living relationship to any experience we are going through. However, the term experience is not as meaningful as it should be because of its current use in the sciences, which consider it as experimentation and not as a personal, concrete, living reality.
Meditation is not easy
To walk in the footsteps of the Buddha is first of all to discover that the present does not show itself. In this sense, the fundamental invitation of the Buddha is realized in the practice of meditation.
But for Buddhism, meditation is not like most often for us, to be relaxed, detached and "zen", but to do very precise work.
It is because the Buddha wanted to be closer to things as they are, it is because he wanted to look at his own experience with great acuteness, that he sat down and meditated. Not to relax.
Meditate in this perspective consists in making a long and patient effort to approach what is, what we experience, what crosses us.
It is not an easy process. It may seem more comforting to us to stay close to ourselves and things, to follow rules, to prove to ourselves that we are good, that we are right and that the problems come from others. Men have a strong tendency to found institutions to which they surrender their intelligence. They sacrifice themselves to the cause – the business, the society, the administration, the Church to which, by the circumstances of life, they are attached. The trap is terrible.
“It is because the Buddha wanted to be closer to things as they are, it is because he wanted to look at his own experience with great acuteness, that he sat down and meditated. Not to relax. »
The Buddha invites us to taste, experience, go through our existence moment after moment, without ever renouncing our own intelligence, without ever placing his freedom in the hands of anyone.
To be a Buddhist is to feel that our usual goals cannot satisfy us. We cannot really find relief in them. The search for pleasures, profits or even more power does not satisfy enough. We do feel some excitement here and there. But the essential is missing.
To meditate is in this sense to go in search of the essential, which is there, at the heart of our own existence.