Kill the Buddha!

A service shared with a Swami…

… The shared nature of today’s service brought me back into reflection on an old koan or saying…  ‘Kill the buddha:’

   The  Late morning, just before lunch, one of Lin Chi’s monks comes to him half-crazed, out of his mind with ecstasy and babbling about Buddha.  Say’s he’s ‘seen him!’ Walking down the road when suddenly, wham bham-buddha, enlightenment, nirvana, shambalah!! The monk can’t stop babbling about it! And awaits his award from Lin Chi… who instead says, “you meet the Buddha on the road… Kill him.’ 

Imagine that! 

You’ve been to church, zigzagged to Zendo, danced your bar-mitzvah buns off… You’ve hailed Mary, recited creeds… You’ve attempted to hopscotch the 8 fold path and summit the stairway to heaven!   

Maybe you are, were, or once called yourself a Christian… a Jew… a muslim…  You may have quaked with the quakers, ridden bicycles and knocked on doors 2 by 2 in ties with the mormons, downward dogged with the yogi’s… 

 at the end of the day… You’ve run towards the divine, then run away from him, her, or the other… 

Your heads been filled with words, labels, dogmas… some helpful, some not, but nothing of true substance… 

And so you decide to do you own thing… start a family,  a career, or maybe you’ve turned from faith to sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  You’re an athesiest or agnostic or an orthodox believer without a cause… 

Thus, You wander about minding your business, not in search of anything in particular or possibly everything… your going through the motions… trudging the 9-5 towards the American dream with your 2.3 kids and a poodle.  Kinda content, kinda asleep

When all the sudden… a flame gets lit! 

 Whamo! Like Saul on Demascus road your knocked off your ass and on to your own!   The great white whale whistles by, Allah Akbar, Holy Ghost on fire, Mysterium Tremendum, a-ha, amen and shalom!     

You met your Buddha! 

Great.  Kill him. 

Embrace the feeling, not the figure…. Wade deep in the wisdom don’t worship the teacher…

“Killing the Buddha’ is an old adage scary to say amidst a Swami as a Christian Minister, but the concept is great.   

Embrace the experience… the transcendence,

In the words of ol’ Joe Cambell… Follow your bliss, not your Buddha 

(I light a chalice here)

Lighting a flame that symbolize a flame that has been lit in each of us in different ways by different matches.  

The unitarian logo, symbol, is a lit chalice and its strong roots in trancedantlism center us today in this theme of transcendence. 

Today we dive into discussion of the light that was lit! Lit differently for us all! 

We celebrate that light (be it the Holy Spirit, the eternal flame, the light in me which lights the light in you (nameste)… whatever you call it, it is that spark, that ecstasy! 

Rumi Wrote: 

“Out beyond ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. / I will meet you there.” The original version makes no mention of “rightdoing” or “wrongdoing.” The words Rumi wrote were iman (“religion”) and kufr (“deceit”).

Today we will transcend to that field to picnic and play with the divine.  Today we will have ‘church’ beyond word, but experience.