In a sutra, Buddha says: To practice the Way is to put right all that has been upset.

To put right all that has been upset, that can be difficult. When he awakened, Shakyamuni Buddha said to himself: “My fellow human beings are not going to accept my teaching because their mind is upside down”, they are going in the wrong direction. He was perplexed for a long while and was unsure whether to teach the Dharma – that is to say a practice, a way of life that brings us bliss, happiness.

All of you who came here, you understand that the direction you had been taking for such a long time was not the right one. This is what we express during the Entering the Way ceremony:

I admit that from time immemorial I have been led by the three poisons (ignorance, greed and aversion), in my mind, my speech and my actions.

I admit it and I repent – I take the firm decision to go in the right direction.

I admit that I have followed the path of selfishness and I a sorry I did; I decide to go in the opposite direction.

I admit that I have followed the ill wind of my karma; the wind of the karma that pushed me to lie, to cheat, to steal, to get angry, not to respect others. I admit that I have followed the wind of the karma.

I decide to go in another direction, to go in the direction of the Dharma – the wind of the Dharma that makes the flowers open, that has existed by itself from the beginning of time.

Taking this decision is a very good thing. It’s a noble thing to decide to go in the right direction. But even – and there lies the difficulty – when we firmly, honestly decide to take the right direction, the karma will continue to exist all the same. There is a poem that says:

The wind stopped blowing
The leaves keep falling

Even though we have decided to go in the right direction, the bitter fruits of our past actions will have to be eaten. For the one who has taken the habit of lying, it’s difficult to take the path of truth. For the one who has never stopped cheating, it’s difficult to take the path of honesty. For the one who has taken the habit of getting angry, it’s difficult to take the path of peace. Our bad habits committed in the past can have consequences long, long afterwards.

The wind stopped blowing
The leaves keep falling

We have to accept this truth; it cannot be by-passed. To accept, that means: not to get angry because of this law. This would add karma to the karma. Please, gracefully accept to eat the bitter fruits of your past mistakes. Very gradually, the karma wears out – never completely. The practice becomes easier and easier, more and more joyful.

Every time we abandon a wrong behaviour, every time we see a wrong behaviour within ourselves and we let go of it, it’s a great relief, a silent joy.

So please, to not give up the practice, but on the contrary, continually strengthen your decision. Always make one more step forward.

Taiun JP Faure, March 2022

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