An authentic and just life requires faith. In Buddhism, faith is not faith in something. It is not faith in beliefs or superstitions. It is not believing that an outside power can save us or solve the problem of life and death for us. We ought to stop living like beggars… Faith is strength and wisdom – both are necessary. The strength of the spirit, which cuts short all digressions. Wisdom, which brings us to the other shore, the shore of compassion.
This pandemic demonstrates to us that our life is infinitely fragile, that our future is uncertain.
We have had the extraordinary, unique opportunity to take human form. This life is like the drop of water suspended from the beak of an aquatic bird, ready to slip away at any moment, to return to the original ocean.
Faced with this inescapable reality, some people choose a materialistic life that comes down to entertaining themselves, to experiencing a maximum of pleasures. This egotistical life, without light, cannot satisfy the human being.
Even if our life flashes through eternity like lightning, it is marvellous. Marvelous, provided that we live it in truth, without telling ourselves stories.
Our life is the life of the universe, without separation from all existences. In accordance with this truth, with our hearts open to all existences, we benefit from the generosity of the Buddha.
One day it’s over… One day the world we have in our minds will be extinguished, forever. It’s a law of the universe: all that is born, dies one day. Perhaps the human race will end sooner than we imagined; perhaps because of a virus, perhaps because of our mistakes. Who knows?
Confronted with this reality, the Buddhas ask us to reflect carefully about how we live. The Buddhas’ way of life is to live with all one’s heart, that is to say with faith: with strength and wisdom.
What the human being must cherish more than anything is the present moment, because it is in this moment that we receive the life of the universe. To cherish the present moment is to maintain benevolent attention to all that arises, to respect all forms of life, to be in service to all existences. This is true Love.
The crisis of the coronavirus is a salutary existential crisis that asks us to abandon the frivolous, the superfluous, and the illusory, and to devote ourselves to the essential: to live awake to all aspects of life — and this, at every moment. There is no room for daydreaming, for delaying, for lack of attententiveness.
What human beings must cherish more than anything is the present moment: open, in the service of life. This requires strength and wisdom.
Taiun JP Faure, may 2020