The foundations of the teaching

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We take the risk of being authentic no matter what the situation, even if it is confronting, even if we risk losing face. We question ourselves frequently, 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 to 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 is impossible to regain unity with reality, so it is essential that honesty become the main orientation 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 everyday 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 experiences, which tend to addict us and turn our search for truth toward serving the ego and its insatiable desire for unusual experiences. Thus our deepest spiritual understanding has to be integrated into all realms of life.

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 grasping, to open and relax, so it can reach down to the foundation of our being and establish itself there.

I don’t know
We develop the mind of the beginner, 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. Here, listening comes before all else! We are open and available to whatever happens, both inside and out, because we have no self-image to defend. The beginner pays attention to every detail, learning that the most profound lessons 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.

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 performance of it and without blaming ourselves when it is 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 darkness or difficulty keep us from going deeper into ourselves. We’re willing not to let any ego-based subterfuge turn us away from the truth.

These teachings are not a new belief system to conform to, and it is essential not to take them as such, nor to restrict ourselves to a purely conceptual understanding of them. Doing either of these would mean hopelessly missing the point of what the teachings offer. We need to experience for ourselves what they set out, without ever abdicating our own authority — even though it is important 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 quickly be deformed and obscured by even the least dogmatic ideology. It is essential to keep from drifting off this way.