Véronique Crombé: a committed and enlightened Buddhist

- through Sophie Solere

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Above all, do not count on her to do things by halves. Lecturer at national museums, translator, Véronique Crombé has several lives, all dedicated to art and philosophy. Painting, the O' languages, the history of art, that of Buddhism and that of Hinduism. Portrait of a twirling, exciting and inspiring woman.

Véronique was born in Roubaix. A red-brick neighborhood with three-story houses that line entire streets. The Crombé family is Catholic, but not more religious than that. Christian schools, Sainte Marie Auxiliatrice then Jean XXIII high school. A bac C later (with 15/20 in French out of a spirit of contradiction), she enrolled in Art History at the Faculty of Lille. “I literally devoured this teaching. I felt like it was made for me. From the first year, meeting with his first mentor. A woman, a revelation. Juliette de La Genière, one of France's greatest archaeologists. She takes it in hand and, after the license, advises him to try the competitions of the national museums in Paris. " I owe him a lot. She brought light to my mind and purpose to my life. »

Véronique is insatiable. To prepare, she enrolled at the École du Louvre and at Langues O' in Chinese. But, in Lille, she had already met her second mentor. Most inspiring. A man, Jean Naudou, professor of Sanskrit and Indian civilization. “Intellectual love at first sight. Won from the first lesson. He uplifted the spirits of his students. Will Véronique stop there? "I went on to follow a number of courses, theory and history of traditional Chinese medicine, calligraphy..." And we're not talking about the many trips made.

A break in this thirst for learning and, past the competition, we find Véronique as a Lecturer at the National Museums. An encyclopedic knowledge of his subject and a real gift for explaining and discovering the collections. Visitors love it. Her specialization in Asian civilizations naturally led her to the Musée Guimet. But also towards Buddhism.

Buddhism and art

The click is made during a visit to Geneva. A museum visitor Guimet invites him to give a lecture on mandalas, then on Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Véronique willingly lends herself to the exercise. “In the front row, for the second lecture, was a Buddhist monk belonging to the Theravada school. At the end of my presentation, he came to greet me and tell me that I had been a nun in a previous life. Third Mentor. The most decisive: the Venerable Bhante Dhammika. He directs the International Buddhist Center of Geneva. Under his teaching, Véronique Crombé will evolve and take the name of Vidassana. “Becoming a Buddhist is a commitment that results in the ceremony of “taking refuge”. This is the moment when the follower decides to follow the Buddhist teaching and enter the community of disciples. He takes "refuge" in the Buddha and agrees to follow the fundamental precepts: the Four Noble Truths and non-attachment. » A solemn moment destined to drive away the clouds of doubt… Although with Véronique, there was no hesitation, to the point that the Venerable performed the ceremony while considering that the knowledge of his protegee had already made her Buddhist!

“Buddhism advocates balance and combines self-control and compassion for others. »

Belonging to the Theravada tradition, Véronique Crombé lives her commitment with serenity: “Buddhism advocates balance and combines self-control and compassion for others. “A philosophy that she espoused as others enter into religion, which explains why she is so radiant and luminous.

A life devoted to art, but not the fear of being out of step… At this stage of the portrait, I have to tell you about her (not so) secret garden. Ireland first. A personal commitment, following his discovery of one of the heroes of Irish independence, Michael Collins, to preserve a historic district of Dublin. She is also involved in interreligious dialogue there. A long story. The cult British TV series Doctor Who, Next. 851 episodes that she has all seen, including the hero, able to regenerate (instead of dying), travels in space and time. Conventions are regularly organized, during which actors and screenwriters come to meet their audience. Véronique intends not to miss the next one in Wales. Unless the event is canceled due to Covid19... Conventions are also subject to the laws of impermanence.

Véronique will really need her meditations to wait for the "end of year special" 2020. Unless she throws herself on her papers to paint watercolors that she puts online in her own online gallery. You were warned, Véronique has several lives...

photo of author

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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