Shakyamuni Buddha is sometimes called the Blessed One. Blessed is “to be happy in good” (in French, blessed is “bienheureux”: “bien” – good, “heureux” – happy). His attitude is benevolent, meaning that he watches over good (in French, benevolent is “bienveillant”: “bien” – good, “veillant” – watching over).
Good is not a concept. It’s life without greed, without frustration, without ignorance, without superstitions. It’s good when it’s without aversion, when we don’t let the three poisons grow. Some people think that they can find happiness through greed, or by getting rid of everything that bothers them. It’s not serious!
When there is unity between body and mind, between the body and its environment, when the three poisons do not create any separation, then it’s good, it works smoothly. We constantly receive life from the universe, and in turn our life is expressed in the whole universe; it’s good. That’s what the Dharma is.
It’s good: that means that suffering cannot arise. Suffering comes when the three poisons are allowed to grow. Maintaining contact between body and mind, between the body and its environment, between all beings, is preventing evil from appearing. Wrong views arise when we refuse that reality.
In reality, phenomena stem from other phenomena, according to the law of causation.
Every phenomenon is only the fruit of other phenomena. Every phenomenon is an effect of causes, and those causes are themselves effects of other causes, and so on… Those causes, in the presence of different conditions, would give rise to a different phenomenon. As far back as we go, we cannot find an original cause.
When you have a thought, it’s subject to the law of causation. Very often, we think we’re free: “I’m the one who decided… It’s my thought…” That’s a childish point of view: the Dharma is constantly at work. Just like a wave is a transient form of the ocean, we are a transient form of this universe, with our transient forms of consciousness whose causes are lost in the mists of times. We must respond to that reality, moment after moment. An ungraspable, inconceivable reality.
There is something instantaneous in that reality, whereas a thought is just the immediate past of the body and its environment.
Consciousness notices after the fact, but in no case is it in control. No one is in control. Of course, we can play with our thoughts, but as zen masters say: “Be careful not to become incurably ill of your own mind.”
The Blessed One is everywhere, always in unity with all beings. There are things that just impose themselves on us: our body, our wrinkles, our thoughts… The “me” is not the master of the situation. It’s just an activity of our consciousness that creates illusions, that imagines what it fancies.
t’s important, from time to time, to return to ultimate reality. It’s where our life comes from. It’s where good comes from, it’s where hardship stops.
(Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure)