Mr. Beans’ holidays
Mr. Beans’ holidays
Summer sees the flowering of a whole range of behaviors that we put on hold during the other seasons of the year. Spring, of course, sees some of them come to life and, like tree buds, grow out of our habits of the moment. But now, as the heat sets in, as the windows open and the shutters close, as we seek the shade of the branches or the coolness of the water… yes, now we can say that summer is here.
And what better season than summer to indulge in the useless, the superfluous, the dilettantism that has been curbed all these long months of activity since last year? Whether we like it or not, we’re becoming more and more carefree. It’s time to catch up.
First, there’s the child who is fascinated by screens, but who, with a few cousins from the family home in the country, dresses up like an explorer: a cool cap, socks pulled up under light trousers to avoid ticks, tennis shoes for all terrains, a satchel with two or three biscuits from the day before… And there he is, off on an early morning adventure in the surrounding hills! His ambition? To catch the tawny owl returning to its nest, to hear the swift, to be enchanted by the song of the nightingale, to leap behind the thieving magpies, to soar like the woodpigeons, to surprise the hoopoe, to crane his neck to catch a glimpse of the obnoxious cuckoo. He’s like this practitioner of the Great Perfection: eager to know, to map and to experience this teeming universe that fascinates him.
“But there’s nothing left in her head: she’s just the infinite sky, the clear, empty immensity that bathes her, the limpid azure blue that flows around her.”
It’s not even midday when our budding ornithologist returns home, happy and fulfilled. All the knowledge he has gathered during these hot days is now part of him. Whether he sees them, smells them, hears them or even imagines them, the birds are in every way similar to the vitality that makes him jump, stop, look and listen. This is the path of the Great Perfection Mind Series: everything we observe is the manifesting power of our own mind.
With an inaudible grunt, the angry teenager moves away from her father to join the paragliding instructor who is calling her. The weather is perfect: azure skies, bright sunshine, not a cloud in sight except for the musty trails of high-altitude aircraft. It’s her first flight and – let’s face it – she’s terrified. You’d have to be completely insane to jump off a cliff hanging from a piece of canvas, and at the same time… She can’t wait to see if she can do it, and more importantly, what it feels like!
Here she is, helmeted and harnessed, taking one last selfie for the gang of girlfriends – she’s putting on a brave face, but her heart nearly bursts out of her chest with every beat. The instructor, a handsome, unshaven man in his thirties, dons the parachutes and finishes untangling the wires. Then it’s time to go. She opens her eyes again. At the end of the short grass track, the cliff. She is crazy to have agreed to this! Too late, they start running, running and… She realizes she’s screaming as they’ve been gliding for seconds. “Are you all right?” asks the mono at her back. She nods reflexively. But there’s nothing left in her head: she’s just the infinite sky, the clear, empty immensity that bathes her, the limpid azure blue that flows around her. And that’s far more powerful than anything her friends can say! This is the Space series: immensity as the fundamental nature of our being.
In this final article “The Friend of Good 4”, Grégoire talks about Sufi Islam and its similarities with Dzogchen.
In ” The Friend of Good 3″, Grégoire talks about the place of the master in some traditions of the ancient near east.
In “The Friend of Good 2, Dzogchen and its relation to Western traditions”, Mila Khyentse talks about the figure of the master in the West.