2600 years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha invited his fellow human beings to reconsider their relationship to the world. As he was dying, he gave eight recommendations, called the Eight Satori of the Great Man. The first satori was to have few desires, to be content with the satisfaction of legitimate desires, to be content with very little. This recommendation is more than ever valid and urgent today. But the major part of our fellow human citizens, do not see it that way. They want to carry on with a society based on unrestrained consumerism, on the satisfaction of all natures of desires.
During this second wave of the COVID, the government keeps open the shops selling basic necessities, just what is essential for mere subsistence. While we have the opportunity to reconsider our style of society, everybody is angry, nobody accepts to have few desires and to be content with little.
If Shakyamuni Buddha recommends to lower our desires and to be content with little, it is because he proposes something greater, which is to taste a satisfaction, a joy, a plenitude, a peace of mind that do not depend on external conditions, that do not depend on consuming.
What the world needs, is to abandon the materialistic view based on consuming and to find within oneself a happiness that does not depend on anything – the pure joy of merely existing and its related values, like sharing, fair cooperation, giving, true love.
Each of us must think deeply. We have the good fortune to practice zazen. This practice must lead us to look at the world with eyes cleansed of all erroneous conceptions. Then, we could show our fellow human beings of today the right direction: liberation, liberation from the three poisons which are ignorance, greed and aversion.
Coming back to a peaceful mind – there is peace in the heart of all existences, in the heart of the whole universe. Finding a happiness that does not depend on external conditions – the happiness of pure existence, of the bird flying across the unlimited sky, of the fish swimming slowly toward the unfathomable depths.
Taiun JP Faure, October 2020