“Kill the Buddha”

25 05 2013

I was listening to Alan Watt’s On Time and Death when he quoted the following.

Followers of the Way [of Zen], if you want to get the kind of understanding that accords with the Dharma, never be misled by others. Whether you’re facing inward or facing outward, whatever you meet up with, just kill it! If you meet a buddha, kill the buddha. If you meet a patriarch, kill the patriarch. If you meet an arhat, kill the arhat. If you meet your parents, kill your parents. If you meet your kinfolk, kill your kinfolk. Then for the first time you will gain emancipation, will not be entangled with things, will pass freely anywhere you wish to go. – Linji Yixuan, Chinese Zen Proponent

I think this comes from a perspective of challenging one’s own internal idolatry, which can come in many forms. As a non-believer it is crucial to stay alert and check if one is worshipping other, less conventional Sacred Cows. Happy Vesak/Buddha Purnima.

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