It is sad to see that too often, our materialistic Western societies feed on the energy of the three poisons. They are in crisis, starting to fall apart… Something must change in the way we live.

Buddha explains that ignorance, the first poison, leads to the other two, greed and aversion. We make money with money, as shown by the speculative bubble  which ruined so many lives and brought the most deprived to their knees. Surreptitiously, greed destructs forests, turns oceans into dumping grounds, etc.

When we think only about consumption, about our own well-being, others are dispossessed, and economic and territorial conflicts emerge, giving rise to aversion, and consequently, to war and desolation.

Politicians struggle to find solutions to this madness. The republican ideal, based on the principle that everyone is interested in public affairs (res publica), is not to be questioned. However, the globally recognized values of freedom, equality and fraternity take shape through the democratic, majority vote. If voters are not awakened, democracy fails. The practice of awakening is essential in a democratic system.

We must open our eyes and see the truth, cast a lucid gaze on things, on the links between existences, on the true nature of happiness, on the supreme value of life. Anyone who awakens will see that the point is not to accumulate wealth or power, but to develop loving relationships with one another. Religions’ vocation is to lead us toward that pratice.

Minamizawa Roshi, founder of Kanshoji, is a source of inspiration for us, when we see the energy he devotes, at 90 years of age, to the teaching of Buddha’s practice to the world. Our bodhisattva practice is to awaken, but also to help all beings awaken.

We often wonder, “What can we do for the world?” What’s most important is to share Buddha’s teaching  and practice, so that human beings can find their way in today’s world – a way of wisdom and love.

Despite the chaos, life goes on. Everyone yearns for a better world, up until the very last breath. It would be unfair not to respond to this yearning, we who know how to return to the normal condition, to our Buddha nature, to what, in the end, all human beings aspire.

How can we speak to the world? To youth? To those who, yearning for an ideal, turn to dangerous and fateful paths?

Social networks have become critical for communications. But what we hear and see there is not always true… How can we use them to share the truth of Buddha’s teaching? That is the challenge.