Marc Marciszewer: Diving into the sources of being through the power of attention.

- through Fabrice Groult

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Sophrologist for forty years, Marc Marciszewer spent several years in India meditating and doing Vipassana retreats. THE Maha Satipatthana attributed to the Buddha changed his life. He has published a book on this powerful text which he sheds light on.

What is Maha Satipathhana ?

Maha, means big; Sati, presence; Pathhana is sadhana, the journey. This text is often translated as “Settling in attention”. Satipatthana is a path to try to be a better person. Here, a better person is an absence of person. All of Buddhism goes this way.

For me the Satipathana is a text that is both founding and fundamental. It is practical, easy to understand and anyone can apply it. I was amazed by its power. Because it gives a tool that allows us in any daily situation to have a reminder of ourselves. Instead of being caught in the river, in the eddy, we have these keys which help us to have a little height. The tool is this way of leading us to be attentive. Not so much to what is happening as to us perceiving what is happening. The object of observation is the observer. It helps us to distance ourselves, to put a little humor when we go through things that are a little dark or difficult.

What is the objective of Satipathhana ?

Free yourself from suffering by merging into being. My own experience, which is debatable, consists in saying that the being is always active, but that it is not attentive to it. This Awakening is common to all, it is always there, only we cover it with all our stories, worries, worries… I would like to take the guilt off and play down the relationship to these texts. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be exemplary. But it is impossible! Because of this pressure I was putting on myself, I was missing out on grace. There was always a feeling of lack, of frustration, of something that was not achieved. And when you see your conditioning being what it is, but with a free look, everything changes. If we read this text without adding anything of our cultural conditioning; if one simply reads it and tries to put it into practice, the veil falls.

You manage to have this approach to life without conditioning?

Oh no ! but it's getting easier and easier. Before, I suffered from seeing my conditioning; today, I laugh a lot. Because we are still funny to take just as seriously! Cioran says that if humans take their ideas so seriously, it's because they forget they're mammals.

Why from the Buddha's point of view, 'abiding fiery' means 'abiding in Being'? Can one be both fiery and detached?

Krishnamurti was talking about the need for passion without being passionate. It took me a while to figure it out. But in fact, he also speaks of the ardor, of this desire to discover what is. This desire is stronger than you. The ardor is in everyone, but for some it is awake and for others it is asleep. A disciple had asked the master Nisargadatta: "What difference is there between you who are awakened and me who am not?" The wise man replied: "None except that you believe there is one."

" The Maha Satipathhana gives us a tool that allows us in any daily situation to have a reminder of ourselves. Instead of being caught in the river, in the eddy, we have these keys which help us to have a little height. »

If I understand this text correctly, there is no more detachment than attachment. It's actually a feeling of being free, more comfortable, lighter. This relationship to detachment is delicate. Because when you are well, you tell yourself that you must detach yourself; so you get even more attached. In the Buddha's teaching, even moments of pleasure are pain. But it is not a question of not savoring the moments of pleasure, only of living them without attachment. In the teachings of the Buddha, there is a lot of emphasis on practice. We often see it as a painful asceticism, but I think that the practice is above all daily life with presence.

You say that the illusory small self determined by our patterns and conditioning masks the big self. How then to lift the veil of illusion?

When we sit quietly and let thoughts race by without fighting them, we quickly intuit, even experience, that our little self, our individuality, that which we are so identified with, is a complete falsification. . A junk character. The big self is what our little self appears in, unfolds and disappears into. It is immensity.

Why in the way of Maha Satipatthana, is suffering “an error of assessment or positioning? »

This idea is common to all Indian approaches. If we suffer, it is because we see the situation badly. But I believe it is also true in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Someone who has faith can never think that God is wrong, so everything is right. If there is this conscious connection with this dimension of being, the suffering is truly alleviated, even annihilated. If you see what you are from moment to moment, there is no room for suffering.

How do we do in the way of Satipathana to free oneself from the fear that feeds the ego?

Fear is not a problem in itself. The problem with fear is that we feel concerned. So we feed the ego. Sometimes we are afraid, even for no reason. But if I am Satiptahhana and as I listen, I see the discomfort. As I'm interested in discovering and observing, I don't let myself be taken in by this wave. THE Satipathhana shows the tools: observe breathing, sensations and, through reflection, ask yourself this question: but who is afraid?

Have you experienced enlightenment by applying this special attention to Satipathana ?

If I told you yes, it would be wrong. If I told you no, that would be wrong too. Theravada Buddhism evokes several degrees of Enlightenment. It gives characteristics of the falling ego until full awakening, where there is no longer any trace of ego. But when you have too precise an idea of ​​what you have to achieve, you can miss it.

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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