The foundations of the teaching

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Honesty
We take the risk of being authentic no matter what the situation, even if’s confronting, even if we risk losing face. We question ourselves regularly, to see if we aren’t protecting ourselves by playing a role or by pretending to be someone else instead of being sincere. We dare look at what is happening inside us, what we feel and what we think.
Honesty is the hardest thing to practice, even though it is very simple, because it requires us to face and not twist reality to serve our own interest. Without honesty, it’s impossible to recover unity with reality, so it’s essential that honesty become the main focus of our life.

Wholeness in daily life
Reality is one. We do all we can not to create any division between our spiritual aspirations and our ordinary daily life. We experience non-separation in nature, in the city, in the kitchen, at the office or on our meditation seat. All this without neglecting our relationships with those close to us, with our neighbours or our colleagues, since it is these ordinary, routine things which often confront us and make it possible for our practice to stabilize and gain in depth.
Spirituality is not limited to intense and ecstatic energy experiences, which tend to addict us and turn our search for truth toward serving the ego and its insatiable desire for special experiences. Our deepest spiritual realizations have to be integrated into all realms of life.

Presence
We train ourselves to act, walk and speak while remaining in contact with the overall sensation of the body. We fully inhabit the body no matter what its position. We try to keep our vertical axis, which passes through the body from the pelvic basin to the crown of the head, supple and alive. We allow our attention, which is too often focused and prehensile, to open and relax, so it can sink to the foundation of our being and establish itself there.

I don’t know
We develop the mind of the beginner — the one who doesn’t know and who is always willing to discover and learn from life. This is an inner quality of innocence and freshness; we are interested in all aspects of reality, without preconceived notions. It’s an attitude in which listening comes before everything else! We are open and available to whatever happens, both inside and outside, because we have no image to defend. The beginner pays attention to every detail, knowing that the most profound teachings are sometimes found in the simplest and most ordinary things. Keeping our mind in the lightness and openness of “I don’t know” lets us not take ourselves seriously, while remaining sincerely involved in everything we do, think and feel.

Involvement
If we feel a resonance with the way and its teachings, we commit ourselves to putting them into practice in every act, every word, every thought, to the best of our ability, without making a per-formance of it and without blaming ourselves when it’s not possible. We recognize our resistance and we dare to face it, trying not to get rid of it, but to know it, down to its most intimate core. We commit to letting no dark or difficult domain keep us from going deeper into ourselves. We’re prepared not to let any ego-based subterfuge turn us away from the truth.

Experiment
The teachings are not a new belief system to conform to, and it’s essential not to take them this way, nor to restrict ourselves to a purely conceptual understanding of them. Doing either of these things would mean hopelessly missing the point of what they offer. We need to experience for ourselves what they set out, without ever abdicating our own authority — even though it’s im-portant to give ourselves over to the teachings completely, if a real transformation is to come about. Intuition, which is an indispensable guide on the return journey to the self, can very quick-ly be deformed and obscured by even the least dogmatic ideology; it is essential to keep from drifting off this way.