Photo Pierre Laroche

No drama

Pierre sent me a pic­ture, telling me that I would be able to inter­pret it to its real val­ue. I was touched by the atten­tion. He was some­what acknowl­edg­ing what I had been able to bring to him since we met, a touch of tran­scen­dent poet­ry in which I often enjoy get­ting involved. If I was able to sow in him this dose of won­der, I am pleased about it.

But even with­out me, like all of us, he knows how to appre­ci­ate these silent moments of sun­shine, sur­round­ed by the full­ness, even the cer­tain­ty of the trees. Maybe an army of mos­qui­toes was after him when he took the pic­ture. His­to­ry does not say so.

The beau­ty of the world is fierce, raw, is inter­pret­ed as oth­ers do not hes­i­tate to undress to catch their prey.

I don’t know if, at the moment, I’m capa­ble of tran­scen­dence. Despite three days off, despite the sun, the excel­lent weath­er, I stay at home read­ing, sleep­ing, breath­ing, amazed by this body that sur­rounds me with its benev­o­lent reality.

The days are of an elu­sive sci­ence and dis­ci­pline, tan­gling towards sad­ness, melan­choly, and qui­et hap­pi­ness. Noth­ing seri­ous, no dra­ma, actually. 

My read­ing of the moment, Already Free – Bud­dhism meets psy­chother­a­py on the path of lib­er­a­tion, makes me think a lot. Its author, Bruce Tift, is a psy­chother­a­pist who nav­i­gates between the two paths of lib­er­a­tion. The first, the West­ern, tries to awak­en and then dis­solve the neu­roses, the pro­tec­tive lay­ers with which the ego wrapped itself in child­hood and which immo­bi­lizes us dur­ing our adult life. The sec­ond, the Bud­dhist, seeks to de-dra­ma­tize these inter­nal strug­gles, which often have noth­ing to do with the real­i­ty of the moment. In short, what was nec­es­sary for the ear­ly years of our lives, what was taught to us to pro­tect us, should not always sur­vive ado­les­cence. There are ways to do better.

His work is more sub­tle than this unfor­tu­nate sum­ma­ry. Pierre’s pic­ture could explain it dif­fer­ent­ly. As chil­dren, we were pro­tect­ed, made to fear the wicked wolves and vora­cious adults. For us, the for­est has remained a threat and, through­out our lives, armed with our expe­ri­ence and fears, we walk around, pris­on­ers of anx­i­ety that we have often not tried to rein­ter­pret. The West­ern way is use­ful to under­stand this path, but it is not very use­ful to get rid of the real anx­i­eties that will stick to our skin until our death.

The Bud­dhist approach comes at this moment to help, forc­ing us to rec­og­nize the tran­quil splen­dor of our body, the robust archi­tec­ture of our exis­tence which is in a total rela­tion­ship, in the present moment, with the rest of the universe.

This is what the sun reminds us of the trees and mos­qui­toes above. Our quest has no start­ing point or end­point. We form a whole with exis­tence, we are an orig­i­nal man­i­fes­ta­tion of it, each of us, or alto­geth­er with­out distinction. 

Walk­ing in the for­est in this way, with­out fear, well, if a lit­tle bit, bears do exist, after all, walk­ing around, any­way, doesn’t put but­ter on our dai­ly bread. True spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, I believe, just like Tift and Bud­dha, is not to deny real­i­ty, but to make it your tem­ple and to blend into it, hum­ble and happy.

Thank you, Pierre, for being a sun for me.