The precious tree of emptiness blooms compassion, various and many hued; another’s pleasure is its final fruit: mind intent on others’ joy.
Mr. and Mrs. Sigmar MASSOUBRE,
His son and daughter-in-law,
Mr. and Mrs. Ananda MASSOUBRE aka Karma Trinlay Rinpoche,
His son and daughter-in-law,
Miss Joanne MASSOUBRE,
Eymar and Adela MASSOUBRE,
And his family and friends are greatly saddened to announce the passing of
Mr. Jean-Louis MASSOUBRE
Honorary Member of the National Assembly of France
Former Member of the National Assembly for the 2nd Constituency of the Somme
Former General Counsel of the Canton of Montdidier
Former Mayor of Arvillers
In his 77th year, on February 15th, 2016, at his home in Paris, further to a long illness
The family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude to Safia Babour and Maya Tamang for their dedication.
Following his wishes, the cremation took place in the privacy of his family. A public memorial service will be held at the Great Buddhist Temple of the Bois de Vincennes on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 at 11:00 am.
You are respectfully invited to attend the ceremony.
Mr. Jean-Louis MASSOUBRE
Mr. Jean-Louis MASSOUBRE, Honorary Member of the French National Assembly, born on August 17th, 1938 in Perpignan, France, passed away at his home in Paris on February 15th, 2016, following a long illness.
A Political Career
Former student of the prestigious École Normale Supérieure (Rue d’Ulm, Paris), a postgraduate in sociology with a thesis supervised by Raymond Aron, Mr. Jean-Louis Massoubre, was a Gaullist elected in the north of France from 1967 to 1981. A member of the National Assembly for the 2nd Constituency of the Somme, he also fulfilled, in parallel, the mandates of General Counsel of the Canton of Montdidier (1967-1979) and Mayor of Arvillers (1971-1977).
The political career of Mr. Jean-Louis Massoubre began in March 1963, at age 24, in the French ministerial cabinets. He was, notably, the parliamentary attaché at the Ministry of Agriculture (1963-1966) under Edgard Pisani, Minister of Agriculture at the time, then later at the Ministry of Foreign Trade (1966-1967) under Charles de Chambrun, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Jean-Louis Massoubre was elected member of the National Assembly for the 2nd constituency of the Somme for the first time in March 1967, with a score of 53.5%, above the national average, becoming then the second-youngest member of the National Assembly at age 27. These legislative elections were won by the ruling majority by only one seat, proving the importance of this ballot. He was reelected in the three following legislative elections of 1968, 1973 and 1978.
Efficient and Engaged Political Actions in His Region
During his four mandates as member of parliament, Mr. Jean-Louis Massoubre was on the commission of Foreign Affairs, the commission of Economic and Social Affairs and the commission of Production and Trade. He participated notably in three important foreign missions: in Vietnam and Nigerian in 1968, and several years later in the Soviet Union. In 1971, he was rapporteur of the bill for relations between the primary health fund (social security) and doctors.
His parliamentary effort was, however, primarily focused on his constituency where he distinguished himself by favoring economy in his political actions; particularly through the creation of industrial zones, by attracting businesses from the food-processing industry and the transport sector, and by connecting Montdidier to the A1 freeway. Through these actions, he succeeded in opening up his region and achieving a positive balance in employment at the end of his mandate.
His great honor was to partake in the exercise of national sovereignty through his mandates as member of the National Assembly, and to serve France under one of its most prominent figures, the general De Gaulle. The Gaullist militants who surrounded him throughout his political career were his companions and friends. It was they who held an important place in his political inspiration and they represented one of the most touching memories of his life. They came from all social backgrounds and formed a genuine political movement of the people.
A Brilliant Man and a Philosopher
Jean-Louis Massoubre was a student – a khâgneux in the dialect of academia (a student in the two-year preparatory course for the admission contests to the Grandes Écoles) – and one of the most brilliant. Being equally competent in Latin, Greek, history, philosophy and French literature, he was received (6th best at the oral and 11th best at the written examinations) at the admission contest of the prestigious École Normale Supérieure “rue d’Ulm” in 1959. He presented himself independently, without any affiliation to a school, the first student to do so since the end of the Second World War.
Being passionate about metaphysics and having received the highest grade at the oral contest of philosophy from the great Hegelian Jean Hyppolyte, Jean-Louis Massoubre chose philosophy as his discipline. Unlike his fellow students, he was neither a Marxist, nor a Progressive Catholic, rather he would amusingly define himself as an atheist and skeptical Hegelian. He quickly turned his back on an academic career, for he was uncomfortable with the intellectual climate that reigned then at the rue d’Ulm which was under the regrettable influence of the philosopher Louis Althusser, whose tragic fate is well known. When confronted later with political reality, Jean-Louis Massoubre predicted in his book C’était, published by Julliard in 1972, the end of Marxism, which was unthinkable at the time.
An Exceptional Encounter With Buddhism
In parallel to his political career, Jean-Louis Massoubre pursued his philosophical reflections and spiritual search, and found his path in Buddhism. It all started with the reading of popularized books that he bought with his wife Ann Gould, who was also interested in the subject. The notion of our ordinary consciousness attached to the duality of subject and phenomena, and a higher consciousness which transcends that duality through emptiness and the practice of meditation interested him in particular. Jean-Louis Massoubre was also touched by the extraordinary charisma of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa (1924-1981), whom he met quite coincidentally in Paris in January 1975 during His Holiness’s first journey to the West. This meeting was decisive and would lead Jean-Louis Massoubre to seriously pursue the study and practice of Buddhism, as well as promote the growth of Buddhism in France.
He generously supported and facilitated visits and sometimes residence in France of numerous Buddhist masters from Tibet; amongst the best-known are: Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989), with whom he was very close, Lama Guedune (1918-1997), Pawo Rinpoche (1912-1991) and Lopön Tenzin Namdak (1926-). His Parisian home was a place of welcome and exchange for nearly 40 years to many of the great masters of Tibet who marked the history of Buddhism in France.
Discreet and Determining Support for Buddhism in France
A humble and discreet patron, knowledgeable in the functioning of French institutions, Jean-Louis Massoubre contributed to the development of numerous centers devoted to the study and practice of Buddhism: Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, Montchardon, Plaige and Blou, amongst others. It was he who put forth the idea of changing their status from non-profit religious associations (Association de loi 1905) to congregations, similar to Catholic ones, in order to be considered a religion in the eyes of the French State. In 1986, France officially recognized the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism, under the spiritual authority of the 14th Shamarpa, as an established and practiced religion in France. This recognition later led to the creation of the French Buddhist Union (UBF), which now federates all of the different Buddhist schools, and ensures relations with public authorities. Today, Buddhism is the 4th largest religion in France, with 1 million practitioners. In Paris, Jean-Louis Massoubre enabled the construction of Kagyu Dzong on the current site of the Great Buddhist Temple in the Bois de Vincennes. He also suggested that Bernard Lebeau and Jacques Martin, the founders of the UBF, take over the management of the Great Buddhist Temple, which formerly housed the International Buddhist Institute.
His profound ties with Buddhism are also reflected in the recognition by the 16th Karmapa and Kalu Rinpoche in 1978 of his youngest son, Ananda Massoubre, as a tulku (reincarnation of a Buddhist saint) by the name of Karma Trinlay Rinpoche.
A Man Devoted to Others
Jean-Louis Massoubre, adept in the principles of social Gaullism, combined these values to the profoundly humane and compassionate values of Buddhism. Aware of the benefits that Buddhism could bring to the Western world if it were better understood, he was, all the while remaining discreet, due to his strong commitment to the principles of secularism which are so important in France, a major actor in the establishment of Buddhism in France.
He devoted the last years of his life to the care of his father, Émile Massoubre, who passed away at the elderly age of 103, and at practicing as much as he could the great perfection (rdzogs chen), principally through the instructions and methods of the Bön tradition. His last wishes and actions included the financing of a Stupa in memory of the 16th Karmapa, the construction of which he insisted take place on the site consecrated by the Karmapa, on the Côte de Jor in Dordogne, and the creation of an endowment fund to support the translation and publication of Indo-Tibetan cultural, scientific, medical and philosophical literature, as well as comparisons of this literature with that which developed in parallel in the Western world.
Jean-Louis Massoubre passed away very peacefully, surrounded by his family, praying to the Karmapa, for whom he had the greatest devotion, fully conscious of the natural state.
Following his wishes, the funeral ceremony will be celebrated in keeping with Buddhist customs, and his ashes will be scattered amongst the four sacred sites of the cradle of Buddhism in India. At the end of seven weeks of mourning, in accordance with Buddhist tradition, a memorial service will be held for him at the Great Buddhist Temple of the Bois de Vincennes on Saturday, April 2 at 11:00 am.
Jean-Louis Massoubre leaves behind three children, Sigmar Massoubre (born in 1970), Ananda Massoubre (born in 1975), and Joanne Massoubre (born in 1988), as well as two grandchildren, Eymar Massoubre (born in 2009) and Adela Massoubre (born in 2014).