Pierre Bourges: “The important thing is not what happens to people, but what they do with it. »

- through Sophie Solere

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After his meeting with Kalou Rinpoche, Pierre Bourges gradually embarked on the path of Dharma. Trained as a psychologist, he has used his experience of meditation with people in difficulty with professional integration. By helping them to accept the vagaries of life, it has enabled them to regain confidence in the future. Now retired, this close friend of Lama Gyourmé offers personalized support at Gîtes du Sentier (Vienne) and mental calm retreats at Vajradhara Ling, in Normandy.

You discovered Buddhism in the 70s. What attracted you?

Very young, I was already looking for a spiritual dimension that could give meaning to my life. When I was eleven years old, I assiduously frequented an esoteric bookstore in rue Saint-Jacques, in Paris. A few years later, I started to take an interest in Buddhism. I discovered it when master Kalou Rinpoche came to France. I found, in the teaching of the Kagyupa master, a way of discovering myself and values ​​close to mine. In 1991, I found Lama Gyourme in Vajradhara-Ling, in Normandy and, in 1996, I decided to go to India to participate in the seminars organized by Master Bokar Rinpoche with the help of two Western lamas: Lama Tcheuky and Lama Namgyal. From that moment, I really started to practice, step by step, then I worked with Lama Gyourmé, who turned out to be a fantastic being, able to enlighten me on my path.

By working at the National Association for Adult Vocational Training (Afpa), you have experimented with innovative techniques for people experiencing integration difficulties. How did you teach them to use their mental resources better?

First recruited as a work psychologist, I offered training whose objective was to develop learning and success skills, to people in difficulty of professional integration. By working in particular on their memory capacities, I noticed that for them, the problem was not so much memory as a certain malaise, a vulnerability which caused an inability to make plans. I proposed to Afpa to use techniques that I had learned from Lama Gyourmé to install the mental calm (“chiné” in Tibetan). Under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour, the association authorized me to introduce meditation into professional training, taking precautions, however, with the vocabulary used. Very positive results have been recorded on all the courses I have conducted. From there, the Afpa created a training course called ORME (Optimization of mental resources), which was offered to job seekers, but also to many companies for employees and their management.

To accompany people, you have relied in recent years on teachings that relate to the eight consciences and the five wisdoms. Can you explain to us?

I use The treatise of the five wisdoms and the eight consciences by Thrangu Rinpoche, which takes up a 3th century text written by the 2018rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje. In XNUMX, with my wife, we traveled to Nepal to meet Thrangu Rinpoche. The master gave us his agreement and his blessing to use his teachings. This book is an incredible tool. It gives keys to help us, on a daily basis.

To sum up, we can say that we have a set of interconnected consciousnesses, some of which are supported by the sense organs (the five sensory consciousnesses). The mental consciousness (sixth consciousness), conceptual, determines for example whether a visual perception is pleasant or unpleasant. The other levels of consciousness are non-formal. The seventh consciousness has two aspects: one is linked to the continuity of thoughts, the other is responsible for the birth of the affects of the universal basic consciousness (eighth consciousness), which notably collects and preserves all karmic imprints. This universal consciousness is the basis of all the illusory appearances that we face every day of our lives. We can compare it to the ocean and the other consciousnesses to the waves which appear on the surface. All consciousnesses are individual. They are transformed into different forms of wisdom during the spiritual progression, the high point of which is the realization.

“Universal consciousness is the basis of all the illusory appearances we face every day of our lives. We can compare it to the ocean and the other consciousnesses to the waves which appear on the surface. »

Listening to these teachings, a work of reflection, an assiduous practice of meditation and being accompanied by a qualified master allow us to progress on the path, for our good and for that of those around us. Their richness is such that we find many conclusions identical to those of quantum physics.

Are these techniques effective in managing stress and improving self-confidence, especially after a difficult life course?

The goal is to bring each person to free themselves from illusory appearances and to move forward on a path that will allow them, in time, to realize the nature of their mind. In our Judeo-Christian upbringing there is a strong spirit of guilt. In my work, I've met a lot of people who felt like they generated every problem they encountered. However, when we have understood the mechanism of consciousness, we notice that what manifests itself goes far beyond our own identity. In Buddhism, the origin of what happens does not necessarily come from this life.

With this practice, one sees events coming as they are, without being disturbed by the label "It's good for me" or "It's bad for me". What matters is not what happens to people, but what they do with it, in relation to their life project. Now retired, I continue to accompany, in an individualized way, those who wish to the Gîtes du Sentier, using all the knowledge and know-how made available to us by our Tibetan masters.

You also share your teachings during lay retreats in Chiné, at Vajradhara-Ling. What can this work bring in our performance-driven age?

Today, many people find it difficult to recognize themselves in some of the values ​​conveyed by our society. Developing mental calm allows access to more authentic principles that are not necessarily contradictory with the person's professional development. With the agreement of Lama Gyourmé, I organize every year, at Vajradhara Ling, a retreat of a few days during which everyone can learn the basics of meditation: the necessary conditions (place and time of day), the posture , the stages to be overcome, the difficulties that can be encountered… The participants can then practice independently and gradually cultivate harmony between their practice, their spiritual aspirations and their family, professional and social life.

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Sophie Solere

Sophie Solère is an economic and social journalist who has been interested for years in the environment and interdependence. She works for Buddhist News, a media platform dedicated to Buddhist spirituality and wisdom. By practicing yoga and meditative dance, Sophie discovered the power of spiritual journeys, which offer so many paths to (re)find yourself. She is dedicated to sharing inspiring stories and valuable advice on spiritual practice and the environment with Buddhist News readers.

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