Juliette Lamboley: zen on stage

- through Francois Leclercq

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At 28, Juliette Lamboley already has a nice acting career behind her. At the Théâtre du Palais Royal, she played in Edmond, the play by Alexis Michalik, and will soon be on screen in That night, TV movie on the Bataclan attacks, directed by Marion Laine. In the cinema, she has accompanied prestigious partners, including Daniel Auteuil in 15 and a half years and Stellan Skarsgard in Rouge Brésil. She has also been seen on television in the series Les bracelets rouges. Very often brought to embody the characters of caregivers, perhaps because of her "family karma", she says, amused, her interest in Buddhism and the practice of meditation influence, without a doubt, her way of inhabiting them. .

His discovery of Buddhism

“Buddhism has always been part of my life, even though I was born into an atheist family. My father, although he never took refuge with a master, regularly made retreats in the Theravada tradition. The first time I meditated, I was sixteen years old, it was in the Bodhinyanarama center, a monastery of the monks of the forest, in Ardèche, where we spent a few days with my parents. I was a rebellious teenager, I didn't want to go there, I felt like I was being punished, I couldn't smoke, I had to get up at four in the morning… In short, it wasn't not a dream stay according to my criteria at the time. But I thought, “Why not? It's an experience,” and I started practicing without knowing anything about Buddhism. Little by little, things calmed down in me, I went from an attitude of rejection to a real interest. I must say that this was done thanks to the Venerable Nyanadharo, whose strong personality contrasted with the image I had of Asian monks. I "hooked" to the point of following studies in the philosophy of religions. »

In the footsteps of the Yawanawa tribe with Venerable Nyanadharo

“On this path, another experience was decisive for me. For filming Brazil Red, I had the chance to live for a while in Rio de Janeiro. In this incredible city where I could no longer refer to my usual landmarks, I was confronted with a very spiritual culture, the practice of which is inscribed on the body, in nature, intuitions, sensations. I discovered there a spirituality based on experience, which subsequently fundamentally changed my entire life course. I didn't even know how much!

“Being in a state of neutrality, of creative emptiness, gives me access to much stronger emotions. »

I began to become aware of this when I returned to France. One day, Venerable Nyanadharo suggested that I go with him to Brazil to meet a Yawanawa tribe (1) with the aim of making a documentary. Here we go with an Indian swami and a Chinese Taoist monk to live for a month with shamans from the Amazon, in the heart of the jungle, twelve hours by canoe from the nearest village. For these dignitaries, the purpose of this trip was to try to find bridges between these different traditions. For me, it was a fantastic journey: I listened to them, I meditated in the forest, I learned a lot of things in a very short time… This intense experience was a trigger. On my return, needing to put words to what I had experienced, I enrolled in a master's degree in the philosophy of religions and began to attend classes at the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IEB) and at Sesame (Spiritual Culture Center, created by the Sufi philosopher Abdennour Bidar). »

How Buddhism transformed her as an actress

“All this of course had an impact on my artistic work, for example by helping me to better feel and express emotions. Contrary to what I thought when I started meditation, that it was not compatible with the work of an actor, and that it was necessary to become a nun to practice well in order to reach a state of awakening. , I realized more humbly that the practice allowed me to be fairer, more attentive to the emotions of the characters I was playing. I have the feeling of having a more fluid game, of being more present and of being able to renew myself more when I play in the theater, evening after evening. If the emotion that I convey is correct, I touch the spectator; if I'm fake, if I act mechanically, the audience feels it. Emotions are energies. But to feel them and provoke them, they have to arise in what I call "centering", this moment of emptiness between two lines, where I don't yet know what my partner is going to say or what I I will answer him. In this space, everything is possible. I can't put it into practice every moment, but I'm working on it! I find this feeling in the practice of meditation and I try to apply it on stage: I am in the present moment, without judgement, without waiting for the other person's reply, without anticipating what he is going to say, and when he speaks, without interpreting his words. Being in a state of neutrality, of “creative void”, gives me access to much stronger emotions. After all these experiences, I became interested in the practice of Zen Soto. Practicing zazen in front of a white wall, without incense, without mantra, without deity, without concentration, just by being focused on the posture, brought me back to the body, and that's exactly what I needed. Currently, I practice twenty minutes every morning and an hour and a half a week at the Ten Chi Jin Zen Kai center, with the nun Jocelyne Derudder (2). It's another stage of my life, I experience it with great joy and curiosity… Until the next one! »

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.

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