Sunday, December 13, 2009

To Kill the Buddha

When the famous Tea Master Sen-no Riku was to commit ritual suicide he wrote in his death poem: "With this sword I kill all Buddhas and Patriarchs!" as an admonishment to his preconceived notions of enlightenment. Only at his death did he openly admit that what had kept him from realizing himself as Buddha was his conceptualizations of what a Buddha was. Any image of the Buddha that is not our self as Buddha is a mistaken image, an idol in any form is an obstruction to our awakening.

This includes anyone who we feel is in some way superior to us. By elevating others we submit ourselves to another form of enslavement. This is not to say that we shouldn’t respect others, their positions or their accomplishments, but we should not see their knowledge or status as anything superior to our own. The notion of superiority is concept that limits both parties. Those who feel superior have defined themselves by the limits of others and those who feel inferior have limited themselves through self imposed restrictions.

One only needs to understand that everyone is a manifestation of Buddha consciousness, I am Buddha consciousness, you are Buddha consciousness, we are Buddha consciousness. Superiority and inferiority are limiting concepts that have no bearing on Buddha consciousness and therefore no bearing on anything real. To kill the Buddha is to annihilate even the most cherished of concepts- ideals, these are among the last barriers to awakening.

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