If You Meet the Buddha on the Road…

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” This title of Sheldon Kopp’s book reflects the last words of the Buddha to his “beloved disciple.” “Therefore, O Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge.” (Mahaparinibbana Sutta).

The ‘road’ is our spiritual journey, ‘the Buddha’ represents all teachers and teachings and ‘Truth’ is the awareness that the Divine Essence is in the whole of Creation and in every part of it. The Buddha is like the finger pointing to the moon. Once we have become aware of the moon we do not depend on teachers and we do not need any teaching.

Any true spiritual path culminates in the mystical life where we find ourselves in the ocean of Divine Essence. A mystic cannot belong to or be contained by any religion. Religion is a raft that takes us to this ocean and once we are in this ocean do we still need the raft?

For Mahatma Gandhi, Truth was God. He explained Truth, as realizing our identity in the Divine Essence and experiencing the interconnectedness of all of life. The source of Truth was his inner voice. “I shall lose my usefulness the moment I stifle the still small voice within” (December 3, 1925)

Personal experience was paramount for Ignatius of Loyola. He was convinced that “when the eyes of his understanding were opened” that is, when he experienced awareness and consciousness of the Essence of life, he did not need the Holy Scriptures anymore nor would he need any external authority.

The prophet Jeremiah invites us to live by a Divine inner and personal covenant.

This is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31: 33-34).

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14 Responses to If You Meet the Buddha on the Road…

  1. Greg Conroy says:

    Puts me in mind of the great archer who when approached and was asked how to become proficient with a bow and arrow, he replied: “What is a bow and arrow.” I shortened that. BTW…

    gc

  2. Thank you, Paul for the inspiration. Yes, most of us believe in this – once you experience the Divine within, there is no form or religion. It is just one in being with the Divine – the essence of our being. Divine creates us and we create the Divine.

  3. Ginny huhusse says:

    You keep giving me hope. I know God loves us . Thanks ginny

  4. Ginny hussey says:

    You keep giving me hope. I know God loves us . Thanks ginny

  5. Henri says:

    To grow in love until that day we will know even as we are Known.

  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I hope I can reach this ocean of Divine Essence and leave the raft which somehow remains like a crutch to me.

  7. Pat says:

    Beware the BAD BUDDHA! BAD BUDDHAS…How many have I met, embraced, dismissed? The road rambles relentlessly. Truth, where are you. Please, don’t play hide and seek with me; fear threatens when you elude me. Thank you

  8. JOSEPHINE says:

    Religion is a raft that takes us to the ocean and once we are in this ocean do we still need the raft ?

    Of course not. And to stay ON the raft means not experiencing the abundant joy and warmth and challenge and comfort of being in and of the ocean. I don’t want to just float on top of life- I want to swim and dwell with the Divine in me and the Divine of the ocean and take it all in. What a wonderful way to spend earthly time.

    This is a GREAT blog Paul and particularly timely and appropriate for my personal journey.

    As always, thank you for sharing.

  9. Joanne says:

    Paul, tell me how I can “experience awareness and consciousness of the Essence of life”. That is my search.

  10. Joanne says:

    Paul, tell me how I can “experience awareness and consciousness of the Essence of life”. That is my search.

  11. Rosalie says:

    Thanks for sharing the above.
    Thanks for taking the time to share what you know and live💖

  12. Mark Rudis says:

    Religiious teachers or gurus I think are needed to teach us intellectual truth, but once truth or freedom is experienced neither is needed any longer. But my relationships with teachers continues to keep me grounded in freedom. Thank you my brother for being among those teachers who have brought me to the light.

    • JOSEPHINE says:

      I like that idea very much. Thank you for reminding me that could teachers and mentors DO help us stay grounded in the essence of the divine and are great examples as well as sounding boards to stay the path. Thank you Paul. Thank you all. I do not walk alone. I walk with like minded people like all of you.
      Thank you.
      Jo
      Josephine Ludwig
      Kjlcstl@aol.com

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