Chantal Baiettini - Head of the Clarens dojo (Switzerland)
The world is caught in the act.
And yet, for a long time, certain voices were raised to denounce great causes. All these messages were only the expression of a kind of awareness, whether it was about consumption, societal changes, the environment, global warming and so many other great topics.
Almost all of us were ready in our minds to “do something”, but what? Who was going to start? How could we keep from undermining an economy that relies - so to speak - solely on the super-profits of multinationals and their multi-billionaires.
Many idealists left their big city to become farmers, country doctors, provincial pharmacists, educators in a small village, as if the desertion of our countryside 30 years ago by some hearts hungry for stress and noise and the enjoyment of the city lights had been a surprise.
At first, everything had to be learned again. Learning again to open the window and hear the birds singing spring, to see the flowers showing their spring colors. Contemplating the children growing up and marveling at the passing of the seasons and what they bring.
To feel viscerally that the only law that governs us is interdependence, the law that sometimes hits us without any warning. But we must distance ourselves from the noises, to observe this impermanence that dismantles the projects that inhabited so strongly our minds and hopes.
Swept away, exhausted, plunged into the ocean depths, they are suddenly covered with a "foam of abandonment". Only then can “renewal” appear, only then can the refreshed mind be illuminated by the experience of emptiness. Christiane Singer wrote: "On the proper use of crises".
But as my mother used to say: "It takes common sense, gumption, to participate fully in this transformation of the depths of one's being and to have the strength to carry it out. And use that common sense is listening to the inner song that reduces the world to friendship and admiration. To let go of the lies we tell ourselves, the illusions we covet and hold fast to. To wake up from our waking dreams. To leave the paths that society wants us to follow for our happiness”. This is what she said.
The teachings of the Buddha are so rich in this regard! What we call "God's decision" in our Christian tradition, the Buddha calls impermanence. No one can deny that our cells are constantly changing, and this proves that the mere fact of existing is interdependent, is the continuous movement that physicists talk about.
Existence is thus a continuum that takes on different aspects, but whose interdependence is the common thread. Nothing stable. Like the beautiful daisies in the garden that only last until the real beginning of spring.
So that the Coronavirus, which is rampant in these times of great questioning, does not reduce the world to military trucks carrying anonymous coffins, to doctors and other health care personnel overstepping their strength, but allows doubt to seep into the hearts of humans, about what they will do after this dark and painful time.
"Even if you like flowers, they wither, even if you don't like weeds, they grow! "
This is a text written in March 2020. And one year later, the situation is the same, with the added bonus of the (understandable) feeling of being "fed up". Fed up with the economy that is withering away and leaving a good number of its players out in the cold. Not to mention the students and their ruined studies, the restaurant owners and their restaurants, the small businesses and their distressed messages, and the youth deprived of meetings and parties.
The new society that emerged from this sudden stop does not seem ready to bear such a weight. The fragility that gave birth to it does not give it the chance to see things clearly and to digest this obstacle on its path. States adjust their lockdown policies, spending dollars and euros. But this is not really enough. Some people have lost faith, others are trying to do a professional conversion, and an inexhaustible source of new services is appearing on the Web and in people's homes. It keeps us alive!
In the meantime, Covid is on its way, as are the vaccinations that are being organized, in our cities and in our minds. Senior citizens are rushing to the vaccination centers, so that grandchildren can be happily reunited with their grandparents. Parents can telework more quietly while waiting for something better, or maybe not. It seems that travelling could be a new possibility of adventure again. In short, everything is moving in the direction of a return to the normality of before.
But something is missing, as if a spring was broken. The freedom of action, the hope, the confidence, that vital impulse that makes existence a pearl that rolls along and takes us with it. All this invincibility that modern society has falsely adorned us with.
We will have to work to reflect, to try to extract ourselves from these ashes, in order to establish - in the first place – peace in the family. So that it can be transmitted to society, to the country, to the continent and to the whole world.
To become more united and to forge a deep and true bond between people, ethnic groups, nations and continents. To reach out and open our hands to free ourselves from fear and egotism, and welcome samsara as the only inevitable playground, so that it may be transformed into nirvana.
To define again our expectations in this "covidian" time, which means putting ourselves at the bedside of all the things in our lives that has been pushed to the wall. Not to escape with mad compensatory antics, but to accept that we have been plunged into the turmoil, so that a new era may emerge in which solidarity will be expressed and barbarity will try to stop.
It is good to dream!