Killing the Buddha!

Killing the Buddha

If you meet the Buddha, kill him. (逢佛殺佛,逢祖殺祖)

Thinking about the Buddha as an entity or deity is delusion, not awakening. One must destroy the preconception of the Buddha as separate and external before one can become internally as their own Buddha. Zen master Shunryu Suzuki wrote in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind during an introduction to Zazen,

Kill the Buddha if the Buddha exists somewhere else. Kill the Buddha, because you should resume your own Buddha nature.

One is only able to see a Buddha as he exists in separation from Buddha, the mind of the practitioner is thus still holding onto apparent duality.



6 thoughts on “Killing the Buddha!

  1. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    Thank you for posting this. It is so good to be reminded not to keep projecting our power, our desire and our faith externally onto the Buddha, or onto any “leaders” or “heroes” who we expect to “save the world”.
    Each one of us has the power to awaken and ascend within us. When we choose to create awakening, abundance, compassion, unconditional love Inside of us, then we will see and experience it in the outer world.
    No lawsuit, currency revalue, political or economic change will create the world we want outside of us unless we bring it THROUGH ourselves first.
    There is no need to follow or support any leader, or argue over which one is best. We are all leaders as we discovered in Occupy. And as the Buddha taught so long ago- there is no leader, no Buddha, no solution outside of us that is not within.


  2. This phrase always shocked me for a number of reasons. I heard it as “If you meet the Buddha on the path, Kill him.” I was always wondering how I would meet the Buddha on a road. I also thought about not killing anything as a part of the Buddhist code. Your explanation helps me sit comfortably with this phrase. Thank you for your wisdom, my friend. {{{hugs]}} Kozo


  3. Pingback: Zen: NOTHINGNESS | heartflow2013

♥Thanks for sharing♥

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