“If on the way you meet the Buddha, kill him. »

- through Francois Leclercq

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This sentence, taken from the very teaching of the Buddha, gives the real dimension of the Buddhist path. Not attaching oneself to any concept or external form of the teaching nor depending emotionally and intellectually on the circumstances encountered in our lives is the condition for freeing oneself from the causes of suffering.

When I was a very young child, one of my greatest joys was to sit down on Sundays to taste my great-grandmother's cooking. She excelled in two arts: that of giving me reading fairy tales and the art of cooking. I braced my little legs on the high chair and shuffling up to the level of the plate, I could lick my chops from copiously greasy and well-sauced dishes. And when it was time for extra food, I was jubilant, widening my eyes at this food with which my plate was being refilled. However, what was my disappointment, because this dish did not have at all the same flavor as the first, the taste intensity and the magic were absent. Of course, I recognized the same food there, the same creamed chicken, the same meatballs, the crispy flesh of the same chicken, but it was as if the taste had been reduced, half erased. The charm was gone. The Princess had started to pawn again. And if my gluttony pushed me to ask for more a third time, it was even worse. It took me many years to solve this mystery. I ended up understanding that the first bite, intact in its deployment and the effervescence of its bouquet, was a miracle, but that when I took this wonderful food again, my waiting and my desire were already too much. They stood between my discovery and the possible experience. I was deceived by my expectation and disappointed by my greedy and voracious appetite as a gourmet in far too short panties.

This metaphor dear to John Tarrant seems to me to sum up the essence of the matter: we all operate from a map, and a map that is always out of date. Life, the territory described by the map, moves quickly. This means that the map deviates more and more from the territory (…) When there is a big gap between the map and the world, the person who made the map is in an uncomfortable situation (…) You will discover that in reality your suffering comes neither from others nor from circumstances. It comes from your maps, your stories, your fiction, your prison.

Kill up the very idea of ​​the Buddha that we have

It is on the basis of yesterday's experiences and beliefs that we contemplate today. Thus our reflexes, our ways of responding to such aggression, such pettiness, this uncomfortable situation or this lack. Patterns that often, unwittingly, we repeat and confuse with ourselves. Mechanisms operate and leave us little or no room for manoeuvre. We act and think from a whole fabric of habits and conditionings, the existence of which we are most often unaware of. Until we put our behinds on a meditation cushion in order to contemplate at leisure the inner cinema and the number of actors involved in this production that we call: me.

Your suffering comes neither from others nor from circumstances, it comes from your cards, your stories, your fiction, your prison.

We must therefore kill even the very idea of ​​the Buddha that we have. Is it for all that to liquidate any realized being who would point the tip of his nose or knock on our door? Of course not. The meaning of this injunction that we owe to the famous Lin Chi is much more subtle, he invites us to get rid of all the representations, all the images and all the maps that we have made for ourselves, and to finally meet the real directly without the intermediary of the warmed up, the rehashed, the reflex. Meet what is and not the projection, that is to say the idea that we have of it. Thus, it's a safe bet that the ideas we have of enlightenment, of the Buddha, of realized life, are part of a collection of mismatched and dusty old things that have nothing to do with authentic freshness. direct experience. It is when we have annihilated any idea or expectation of Awakening that the latter manifests itself freely in our life, and this without our knowledge. Because if there is still a witness to admire the landscape, marvel at the place or wait for anything, we came back to this table where the greedy child gauged his hopes and expectations.

Invitation cards

Pay attention and ask yourself this simple question: what is it?

Whatever you encounter, ask yourself what is the source of the representation that you have of it, be aware of the judgments that jostle in your head, of the little comments and murderous phrases, but also of the grandiloquent and so impeccable constructions. Do you really perceive what is? What if your listening, watching, smelling, tasting without making any more?

Why continue to maintain the fable and fiction of enlightenment, when you can awaken to life itself? Do you believe that a Buddha can be aware of itself or of itself? That he continues to worry about being this and not being that? Do you think that a realized being wastes his time labeling beings and things?

While you are seated, can you just eat without before or after, in a carefree and joyful and happy openness?

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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