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.

http://heartflow2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/living-as-buddha/

 

 

FINAL TRANSMISSION

A wise old Zen master, very near death, lay quietly on his mat with his eyes closed, all his disciples gathered around. Kneeling closest to him was his number one disciple, a longtime practitioner who would succeed the old man as head of the monastery. At one point the old master opened his eyes, and lovingly gazed at each and every one of his disciples assembled in the crowded room. Finally his glance rested on his successor, and he managed to speak his last words to the man: “Ah, my son, you have a very thorough knowledge of the teachings and scriptures, and you have shown great discipline in keeping the precepts. Your behavior has, in fact, been flawless. Yet there is one more thing remaining to be cleared up: you still reek and stink of ‘Zen’!”

 

Be Natural:

http://heartflow2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/zen-shin-ku-myo-u/

NAME OF AMIDA BUDDHA

When, earlier in his ministry as a famous Zen roshi, Takuan was asked by a monk whether he ever performed the sacred Nembutsu recitation of the holy Name of Amida Buddha, he replied, “No, never.” “Why not?” “Because I don’t want my mouth polluted!” Yet it’s funny: Takuan had spent years in his youth involved in chanting Amida’s name as a member of the Pure Land devotional Buddhist sect!

 

Later, in his little text Reiroshu, Takuan told the following story:

When Ippen Shonin (13th cent.; later a father of Pure Land Buddhism) met Zen master Hotto Kokushi, the founder of the Kokokuji Temple in Yura village, he said, “I have composed a poem.” Master Kokushi said, “Let’s hear it.” Ippen recited:
When I chant,
Both Buddha and self
Cease to exist,
There is only the voice that says,
Namu Amida Butsu.

Kokushi said, “Something’s wrong with the last couple of lines, don’t you agree?” Ippen then confined himself in Kumano and meditated for twenty-one days. When he passed by Yura again, he said to the Master, “This is how I’ve written it”:
When I chant,
Both Buddha and self
Cease to exist.
Namu Amida Butsu,
Namu Amida Butsu.

Kokushi nodded his enthusiastic approval, “That’s it!”

 

Only chant: Namu Amida Butsu         Until no chant: Namu Amida Butsu         Only: Namu Amida Butsu

♥☼♥

 

THE POET AND THE MASTER

Garma C. Chang relates the story of Su Tung Po, a celebrated poet and devout Buddhist of the Song Dynasty, who was close friends with Fo Ying, a brilliant Chan master. Fo Ying’s temple was on the Yang-tse River’s west bank, while Su Tung Po’s house stood on the east bank. One day Su Tung Po paid a visit to Master Fo Ying and, finding him absent, sat down in his study to wait. Finally bored with waiting, he began to scribble poetic verses on a sheet of paper he found on a desk, signing them with the words, “Su Tung Po, the great Buddhist who cannot be moved even by the combined forces of the mighty Eight Worldly Winds.” (These are gain, loss, defamation, eulogy, praise, ridicule, sorrow and joy.) After a while longer of waiting, Su Tung Po got tired and left for home.

When Master Fo Ying returned and saw Su Tung Po’s composition on the desk, he added the following line after the poet’s signature line: “Rubbish! What you have said is not better than breaking wind!” and sent it to Su Tung Po. When Su Tung Po read this outrageous comment, he was so furious that he crossed the river on the nearest boat, and hurried once again to Fo Ying’s temple. Catching hold of the master’s arm, Su Tung Po cried: “What right have you to denounce me in such language? Am I not a devout Buddhist who cares only for the Dharma? Are you so blind after knowing me for so long?”

Master Fo Ying looked at him quietly for a few seconds, then smiled and slowly said: “Ah, Su Tung Po, the great Buddhist who claims that the combined forces of the Eight Winds can hardly move him an inch, is now carried all the way to the other side of the Yang Tse River by a single puff of wind from the colon!”

THE MASTER’S DHARMA TALK

Chan master Lin-ch’i (Linji, d.867) displayed a famously fiery approach with students—involving iconoclasm, paradoxical dialogue, explosive shouting (the famous kwatz!) and even slapping/striking. He inspired the influential Lin-ch’i Chan school in China (later Rinzai Zen in Japan). Among the transcribed talks we have from Lin-ch’i, here are excerpts on how he chided students (and certain fellow teachers!) for their obtuseness in not awakening to the Buddha-nature “right before/behind your eyes” as he called it:

“O you, followers of Truth… do not be deceived by others. Inwardly or outwardly, if you encounter any obstacles, lay them low right away. If you encounter the Buddha [as merely a mind object], slay him; if you encounter the Patriarch, slay him; if you encounter the parent or the relative, slay them all without hesitation, for this is the only way to deliverance. Do not get yourself entangled with any object, but stand above, pass on, and be free. As I see those so-called followers of Truth all over the country, there are none who come to me free and independent of objects. In dealing with them, I strike them down any way they come…. There are indeed so far none who have presented themselves before me all alone, all free, all unique. They are inevitably found caught by the idle tricks of the old masters! … They are all ghostly existences, ignominious gnomes haunting the woods, elf-spirits of the wilderness. They are madly biting into all heaps of filth. O you, why are you wasting all the pious donations of the devout [who give to the monastery]! Do you think you deserve the name of ‘monk’ when you are still entertaining mistaken ideas of Zen? You are putting another head over your own! What do you lack in yourselves? O you, followers of Truth, what you are making use of at this very moment is none other than what makes a Patriarch or a Buddha. But you do not believe me, and stupidly seek it outwardly…. There are no realities outside, nor is there anything [any “thing”] inside you may lay your hands on!”

And elsewhere Lin-ch’i said: “Students nowadays do not know the Dharma. They are like goats, nuzzling and nibbling at everything they come across. They cannot distinguish the servant from the master, nor the guest from the host.”

Other sayings from Lin-ch’i: “What is the frantic hurry to deck yourselves in a lion’s skin when all the while you are yapping like wild foxes? A real man has no need to give himself the airs of a real man!”

“Monks,… I spent twenty years with my late master, Huang-po. Three times I asked him on the essence of Buddhism, and three times he beat me. It was as if he had caressed me with a branch of fragrant sage. Now I feel like tasting a sound beating again; who can give it to me?” A monk stepped forward and said, “I can.” The master took up his stick and handed it to him. The monk hesitated to take hold of it. So the master hit him.

“A student wearing chains presents himself before the [mediocre or false] teacher. The teacher then puts another set of chains on him. The student is overjoyed. Neither the one nor the other are capable of discernment…. Followers of the Way, the true sentiment is very difficult, the Buddha-Dharma is a profound mystery. But if you understand, you smile. … Even if there is no form, the brightness shines of itself. But students have not enough faith. So they cling to names and phrases and try to find the meaning of these names. For fifty years and more they run about carrying their corpses, their staffs and bundles.”

 

More about the venerable Master Lin-ji :

http://heartflow2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/put-on-your-robe-as-a-free-person/#more-4433

The True Way

The True Way

One morning, during Yong Maeng Jong Jin at the Providence Zen Center, a student
walked into the interview room and bowed to Seung Sahn Soen-sa.

Soen-sa said, “What is the true way?”
The student shouted “KATZAAHH !!!”
Soen-sa said, “That answer is neither good nor bad. It has cut off all thinking, so there is
no speech, no Buddha, no mind, no way. Tell me then: what is the true way?”
The student said, “The sky is blue.”
Soen-sa said, “That’s true enough, but it is not the way.” Then, holding up his Zen stick,
“What color is this?”
“Brown.”
“Yes. When I ask you what color is the stick, you don’t answer, “The bell is yellow,”
even though that’s perfectly true. It would be scratching your left foot when your right
one itches. It’s the same when I ask you what is the true way and you answer, “The sky
is blue.”
“Go ask a child about the true way. A child will give you a good answer. Zen mind is
children’s mind. Children have no past or future, they are always living in the truth,
which is just like this. When they are hungry, they eat; when they are tired, they rest.
Children understand everything. So let me ask you again: what is the true way?”
The student stood up and bowed.
Soen-sa said, “This is the Great Way, the Buddha Way, the Tao. It is not the true way.
Do you hear the sounds outside the window?”
“Yes.”
“What are they?”
“Cars.”
“Where are these cars driving?”
“Over there.”
“What is the name over there?”
The student was confused and said nothing.
Soen-sa said, “It is Route 95. That is the true way. Hope Street is the true way. Doyle
Avenue is the true way. The way is only the way. There is nothing beyond.”
The student bowed and said, “I understand. Thank you.”
Soen-sa said, “You’re welcome. Now what is the true way?”
The student said, “Route 95 goes from Providence to Boston.”
Soen-sa closed his eyes.

After he had returned to Cambridge, the student went up to two children – a six year old
girl and a four year old boy – who were playing in the driveway by the Cambridge Zen
Center. He asked the girl, “What is the true way?”
The girl pointed down the street towards Main.
He then asked the boy, “What is the true way?”
The boy gave him a fierce look, turned around, and walked away.
LOL! Life is a perfect circle. We are all born Zen, acquire logical mind and grow out of
Zen, only to mature and realize we are already/ always were “Ahh, this.”
Just look: every grandmother sees the wisdom of children, so fresh and innocent.

What is your true way?