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Jan 30, 2007

The Buddha is a Sh**-Wiping Stick

"There are some fierce, horrifying phrases in Zen: "When you meet the Buddha, kill him..." or "Boil the Buddha!  Boil the Patriarch!"...

When one attains enlightenment, one will know the true spirit of Buddha and the highest wisdom directly, not through words...  One Zen phrase says, Words fail." Another goes, "As soon as you preach a thing, you miss the mark."  So, those who have known the inner Buddha directly through their own experience will not stick to the Buddha's teachings in sutras.  When the teachings in sutras differ from or conflict with their experiential knowledge, they are ready to throw them away: that is, kill the Buddha."

Teruyasu Tamura in A Zen Buddhist Encounters Quakerism, Pendle Hill Press, 1992.

Not that I think I've become enlightened, but it's kind of funny that of all the Pendle Hill booklets I accidentally knocked off my bathroom sink today, this is the only one that fell in the toilet. 


While (unsuccessfully) looking for an illustration to add to this blog, I discovered that numerous outlets offer copies of this 28-page pamphlet for ~$25.00.  It's worth noting that it was originally published for ~$2.00 and is available (in photocopy) from the Pendle Hill press for just $5.00.  I seem proud of knowing this fact.  Yep.  No enlightenment for me just yet...

12:01 AM in Quotables | Permalink