“If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him” and the Blurred Path to Enlightenment by Gary Z McGee

“If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him”

Gary Z McGee Spirituality 6
Blurred Path to Enlightenment
“Like they say in Zen, when you attain Satori, nothing is left for you in that moment than to have a good laugh.” –Alan Watts

The title of this article is a koan attributed to a 1st century Zen Master named Linji Yixuan. It’s obviously not meant to be taken literally, since killing is wrong. It’s a koan with shock-value, meant to jar us awake, a tool meant for self-exploration and self-interrogation. In this article we will attempt to dissect this curious koan and try to bring some clarity to it so that we can use it as a tool toward our own self-development.

The “road” is generally meant to symbolize the path to enlightenment. But it could also be interpreted as our own personal path, or even something as simple as the direction our life is going. The “Buddha” we meet on the path is our idealized image of perfection, whatever that might be. It’s our conception of what absolute enlightenment would look like. One could argue that the Buddha on the path is us, or at least our projection onto the world about what it means to be Buddha. But, and here’s the rub, whatever our conception of the Buddha is, it’s wrong!

Like it says in the opening of the Tao Te Ching, “The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” What we’re “killing” is the idea that enlightenment is achievable. If we believe we have achieved enlightenment then we need to “kill” that belief and keep meditating. This is because there is no permanence. Permanence is an illusion. Everything is constantly changing.

Travel Well

Even if we think we have all the answers, those “answers” must still be questioned. This is the urgency inherent within the koan. A true master “achieves” enlightenment, “kills” it, and then keeps meditating. He or she does so in order to keep learning, to keep enlightening. Indeed, to reinforce the journey truly being the thing.

Every master knows that we are all Buddha disguised as the Self. We are all God in hiding. It’s just that some of us are playing the victim and some of us are free. Like Alan Watts asked, “Do you define yourself as a victim of the world, or as the world?” Most of us are walking tragedies, suffering in a cruel world. We all experience pain. We all have scars. But true masters flip the tables on tragedy and choose comedy instead, thus completely altering the power dynamic.

They choose happiness without reason. They choose laughter and joy over anger and spite. They honor their scars rather than resent them. They choose dancing rather than depression.

And this is precisely where the Fool and the Sage merge, where humor and wisdom coalesce. Up until the point we meet “Buddha on the road” we are victims of the world, but once we “kill” the Buddha we become the world. We become sacred clowns.

We become holy fools, with the power to keep the journey going despite wounds or set-backs or even enlightenment itself! This is the wisdom of the Fool/Sage –to fail (or succeed), to let go, to have a good laugh, and then to start all over again with our wisdom in tow.

If you meet the Trickster on the path, kill it
“You must change in order to find your truest self,” writes Bradford Keeney in The Bushman’s Way of Tracking God. “And keep changing. The false idol is any form that hangs around too long and gets fossilized. It’s worth considering that if your ideas of God don’t change, then your ideas are dead. God is not dead. He simply went elsewhere because you were too boring.” Yes! God is us. Buddha is us.

This sacred energy is hiding inside us because we have been too boring. We need to shake ourselves awake. The world is not a frozen thought, but a dynamic feeling, a heroic expression, a comic guffaw. Our bones are too serious inside us. Even our funny bone is serious. We need to loosen up. Let’s not be serious, let’s just be sincere. Shake up your bones. Unloosen the straightjacket that society has strapped around your soul. And then let’s have a healthy enough sense of humor to laugh about it afterwards…

…Imagine you are a clown walking down the path toward sacred clownhood. You encounter me standing on one leg. You approach me to get a better look. I am trickster-fabulous with my coyote-throat and crow-tongue, with my Thunderbird wings and smoking-mirror skin. I am whispering unspoken truths to power when you draw near. You ask me my name and I open my moon-eye, keeping my sun-eye closed.

“I am Jester Guru,” I say, laughing and bouncing from foot to foot. “I am Slapstick Soothsayer. I am Wag & Sage. I am Blessed Buffoon. I am Charlatan Shaman. I am the Fool’s Philosopher. I am Prankster Pope. I am Mystic Muppet. I am Elder Funnyman. I AM THE HEYOKA WHO BEFUDDLES ALL HEYOKAS! I am the all singing all dancing Juggernaut Oracle, and I’m here to inform you that you have finally arrived.”
What do you do?!

Sri Ma on everything is THAT

From SRI MA one can but rarely get a definite decision on any problem. That is why I wondered of what use it was to write down her utterances? I asked SRI MA about it. (ATMANANDA)

SRI MA: At least you have understood that there is a state, ’where’ problems are no longer settled in any particular way. In the course of your life you have after careful consideration come to a decision on many questions, have you not? But now you will have to realize that no solution is ever conclusive; in other words, you will have to go beyond the level where there is certainty and uncertainty. The resolution of a problem arrived at by the mind must of necessity be from a particular point of view; consequently there will he room for contradiction, since your solution represents but one aspect. What then have you actually solved? You will find a complete and final solution of each particular question from its own particular angle of emergence; and you will also find that there is a place where all problems (actual and possible) have but one universal solution, in which there is no longer any room left for contradiction. The question of solution or non-solution will then cease to arise: whether one says ‘yes’ or ‘no’, – everything is THAT.

From Rachel Naomi Remen

“Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen

From Wild Sisterhood FB


“In Search of the Self and Beyond” by Bob Hearn

Stop acting so small.

You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

~ Rumi

One of the most confusing and debated issues in philosophy, theology, psychology, anthropology, and now in the emerging neurosciences, is the concept of the self. To be succinct, the matter may be condensed into the question, “Who or what am I?”

The purpose of this essay is not to summarize the current state of the investigation, nor to champion any particular position that has already been advocated by far more accomplished minds than mine. Rather, I am here to suggest that most of the confusion around the subject is based on a fundamental misunderstanding — one that relies on the severely limited filters associated with the human vantage point. From the human vantage point, we will never be able to account for that which transcends our assumed humanity, any more than we can hope to view the grand procession of celestial galaxies by using our curled fingers as a telescope.

Essentially, most of us take the uninspected sense of individualized self to be representative of who and what we are — hence the “me” story. The prime misunderstanding generated from that conviction is the belief that we are human beings in a world of other human beings, all vying for survival and prominence. This is an innocent enough assumption, since by incarnating here, we arrive with a kind of amnesia regarding our true nature. The purpose of this amnesia is to create the illusion that we are actually the human animal which we are inhabiting. The ensuing self-sense is not some troublesome critter that needs to be extinguished, but simply a way to navigate the objective human realm.

The illusion of the “person” is necessary in order to grant the incarnational adventure a sense of reality. For the experience to have a real impact, we need to identify with the fictional avatar in the virtual reality game of being human to the extent that we momentarily forget ourselves and believe we are the game character itself. In that regard, all those systems which deny that we are the so-called self are somewhat correct, as long as they are pointing to the fact that we are not truly the body-mind vehicle, the flesh and blood human character.

However, even those systems which claim that we are humans with souls actually have it backward, in the sense that we are much more like spiritual beings who have infused a portion of our light energy (which are then called souls) into humans in order to enjoy the human experience. In doing so, we create a two-in-one opportunity to gather interesting human experiences, by acting as both the Witness and the Do-er (although in reality we are neither). When we return to our purely spiritual state after dropping off the physical body, we expand the knowledge base of our familial “soul group”, of which we are more like cells, with the fresh experiences we gleaned while fused with the human animal.

By investing a percentage of our light energy through a process of focused attention into the human host, we come to identify with the human character for the duration of its lifespan, enjoying the unique sense of self that results from the fusion. Nevertheless, we are not that human self, any more than we are the body-mind organism with which we are identified. At death, the human does not move on — we do. The human returns to the atomic elements, but we eventually re-integrate that percentage of energy previously incarnated with our apparent “higher self”, which manifests as a seemingly immortal being of Light in what appear to be heaven-type worlds, dimensions which vibrate at a much higher frequency than the denser human circumstance.

I say “apparent” because in reality we are not truly this higher self (or Whole Self, to use Natalie Sudman’s terminology) either, although the higher self may seem to be much more like our real and immortal nature than the human illusion, just as the heaven-type worlds seem much more real than our lower density 3-D earthly sojourn. However, regardless of our luminous radiance, we are still very much like characters in a dream, a dream being dreamt by the Source of all the universe, in the same way that humans are like a dream we seem to create when we incarnate that portion of our energy in the human bio-vehicle. Just as the human/soul entity populates its dreams with all sorts of characters at night while asleep, so too do we appear in the Mind of Source.

As “spiritual” beings, we have been infused with a sense of individuality by Source, just so that It can experience itself from every possible angle and thereby enjoy its creation through our various perspectives as co-creators of all manifestation. In order to be able to appreciate Itself, Source manifests the conditions for the appearance of innumerable life forms, which are nevertheless still indivisible shards of Its own Source Energy that temporarily enjoy a sense of separation and individuality. As beings of light and power (Source Energy), we are the vehicles for Source’s play of consciousness, conduits of the creative Play.

In that regard, one could say that what we actually are is Source Itself, pretending to be multiple distinct selves. Consequently, those who claim that we are not even souls at last are also ultimately correct. In any event, Source is not some kind of super entity, Cosmic Self, or Supreme Being (which are mere human concepts), but much more like an ineffable conscious energy field to which no human terms or descriptions can apply, but which includes all creation as manifest aspects and reflections of its own unconditional loving.

Fundamentally, there are no sentient beings in the universe — there is only Source, playing all the roles, wearing every mask, engaged in all the functions, and purely for the joy of the dance. Any sense of separate self which we might clothe ourselves in is merely a temporary dream costume of Source, as is any illusion of substantial and enduring personhood. Here, the mystics’ claim that “there is only God” is actually the literal truth, or as Alan Watts said: “You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”

When even the illusion of being an independent and exclusive higher light being self finally drops away, we recognize that our highest conceptions of liberation and Nirvana were simply crude representations of the realization of our inherent selflessness. We have never been other than Source Itself — there was never anything to acquire or become that was not already true of us. We are the whole thing, and simultaneously no-thing.

In seeing through any notional construct and identification with some ephemeral individual self (whether sacred or mundane), it might seem that this is as far as we can go — to recognize that we are in reality simply dream figures in the Mind of Source — but we need not stop here. If we consider the intrinsic logic of the manifesting hierarchy of self/Self Realization — ascending from human creation to spiritual being and then to the Source of the whole manifest and un-manifest totality — we can also intuit that Source Itself may be more like a cell within an even vaster body, one far beyond our comprehension, with thought-universes more numerous than grains of sand on a beach.

Furthermore, there might very likely be no limit nor circumference which could somehow account for, define, and contain it all, no true and final self-existent Absolute behind conditional appearances, but simply a dependently arising thought within another thought, ad infinitum. Moreover, there has never been a “big bang” where it all began, no actual beginning nor end to this Play, no origination and therefore no destruction, no place to plant a flag and claim some surety, no Big Mind or Self where the “buck stops”, but more like a dream within a larger dream within an even larger, more exquisitely confounding dream, and so forth beyond any progressively sublime conception — human or divine. It is all open-ended, free and unknown, and that is the elegant glory of it — its sheer magnificent Mystery!

Once you understand non-self, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy. Learn to let go without struggle, simply let go, to be just as you are – no holding on, no attachment, free.

~Ajahn Chah

About Bob OHearn
My name is Bob O’Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, and our lazy dog, Amos, in a lovely little mountain town called Paradise, situated on the ridge of the Little Grand Canyon, in the Northern California Sierra Nevadas. I have 6 sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: http://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Poetry and Prosetry: http://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Transliterations: http://freetransliterations1.blogspot.com/ Love Poems and Duets with Mazie: http://lovesight.wordpress.com/ Autobiographical Fragments, Stories, and Fables: http://travelsindreamland.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
View all posts by Bob OHearn →

DIY Spirituality by Manel Blanco

By Manel Blanco

The answer to everything is within, never outside. As young children we know all the answers. Everything that we need to know about life. There is no need for questions or to even talk. Some of us retain that knowledge as a memory of home. Both, intuition and consciousness are high during that period. As we grow up there is a moment in which we break from it and begin to question everything. Suddenly nothing makes sense. Our parents whom by then have lost touch with that knowledge try and impart a different knowledge about the world and its reasons to exist.

Regardless of how much sense it makes to them, it does not make sense to us, but as the norm is very persistent and we are constantly bombarded by it, we separate gradually from intuition and adopt a more practical approach on life. But there is still a part of us that remembers and wants to return to a more spiritual life.

The spiritual knowledge to which we are exposed is that of established religions and a God represented in ways that patriarchal society has managed to interpret for all of us. These interpretations are filled with rules, regulations, blind faith and submission to a powerful deity offering incredible rewards once we die, but that limits our expansion in life. At one point or another we all break some of the rules if not all. We are here to have fun, to play, to enjoy the ride, to learn, to love and these beliefs which have been methodically implanted in our beings do not make sense. Instead, we become followers as we want to believe there is more to life than what we know. And there is.

The new spiritual movements, what is known as new age, have broken with these concepts and try to find more personal answers through different practices. As adults we see that these demands are unreasonable and separate from traditional religion and often the belief of God. New age is much more fun and speaks of values that resonate deeper with who we really are, but as we have been following an idea for so long, we fall again in the same trap and become followers of a new dogma. We move from being a follower to being a follower again, not the leaders that we truly are.

The four elements give us a clear image of the conflict between internal and external. No one wants to be identified with earth, a place where we all belong and from which we all try to escape to no avail. People want to associate with fire, in an attempt to show the flame we all have within. Rain is something we all want to avoid, even though water is what we are made of and something no one can live without. Water is life, but we deny ourselves this right. Everyone wants to be free, powerful and have endless energy, and yet, as soon as the wind blows faster and stronger than we deem appropriate we seek refuge indoors. We do whatever it takes to be comfortable and resist what surrounds us.

As we begin to follow other ways towards enlightenment, too soon we are trapped by new beliefs which can become dogmatic and even fundamentalist, refusing to accept the beliefs and the path of others. This is our new way towards the absolute truth. The truth is that there are many different paths and they all lead home. Home is within.

The new trend is misleading people to believe that we all come from different planets, stars, galaxies, celestial beings, aliens and so on and so on. Everything is here and now. We are on planet earth and this is where we belong. We can only find home inside. Never outside. Home is love. By wishing to return home, as many claim, what we do is stop living in the now, not appreciating what we have here and now. All those planets, stars and galaxies are here now. The fact that most of us don’t have access to it, is due to humanity’s low consciousness. There are other dimensions, and they’re all here. As we don’t see it, we don’t believe, but it is only when we believe that we see.

Concentrating on ascension and enlightenment as a goal is positive, but the way to get there is not by focusing all our attention on that moment. In order to evolve spirituality we have to bring practicality to the spiritual. It is imperative to go through the experience, here and now. Let’s take the way to ascension as a physical ladder, step by step.

From one step to next we have to go through different experiences, feel our emotions, shed parts of us that we no longer need, go beyond our fears, dance with our demons and visit very dark places within. This is a painful and lonely process. By associating so strongly on the theory of whatever group we identify with, we are avoiding the pain and the experience. Avoidance is fear of finding out who we really are.

What we all want is love, and love is locked inside each of us beyond our deepest fear. Without going through fear we will never remember such love, but only the illusion of it projected on someone else. This is the reason we have to go through the painful experience of feeling what we are not: jealous, angry, weak, cowardly, etc. This is not who we are. We are beings of light, in love deep within. Only when we give these steps we will know what our purpose in life is and why we are here. Then and only then we will stop questioning ourselves and others.

I could write about ascension, the shift, angels and other planets in order to gain a greater audience, but I will not. Spirituality has to be practical and physical, as we are. Everything else only serves us to keep lying to ourselves, and for as long as we keep lying to ourselves we will never find the truth of who we really are.

A friend asked me not that long ago about my spiritual beliefs, what dogma/religion/group do I follow and if I could help her to know her origins regarding one of these new and very popular movements. This is a question that people ask me very often. My answer to her is my answer to all. Don’t buy into any galactic sagas and be yourself. I am freelance. I don’t follow anything or anyone. There is a God and to God I bow. Nothing else, nothing more.

I’d be very happy to go in more depth on this subject provided there is interest from readers. There is only one truth, not mine, but yours and only you can tap into it. That it is painful, yes, it is, but it is even more painful to live a life not knowing who we really are. We have turned self-sabotage into an art, and there is no one to blame but the self; no one else is responsible for our fear to know our own truth.

Looking at the stars and wishing that we could be there, due to the false belief that we can find our truth out there is pointless. If we cannot find our truth here and now where we are, we will never find it anywhere. But when we do, we would then see, that we are the stars.
Posted by Manel Blanco

article may be found at Manelblanco.blogspot.com

Stages of Transition by Dr. Michael Newton from an article on “Mind Unleashed” Website

I think this was written by Jeff Roberts at Collective Evolution…….

Over the years Dr. Newton noted similarities among client’s descriptions, ultimately putting together a picture of the process that our soul goes through from the moment we ‘die’ to the moment we are ‘reborn’. These are the stages that he described:

1.) Death and departure – Most clients recall looking down at their body and seeing people mourning over their death. Some people reported staying around their loved ones until after their funeral. During this time clients could feel a pull towards a light, and described a tunnel of sorts to get there.

2.) Gateway to the spirit world – This is the stage where clients report moving through the tunnel and reaching the light at the end. Location of the tunnel varies, as some say it appears right above their bodies and others say they have to travel above the Earth to reach it. After reaching the end of the tunnel clients almost always describe in varying ways beautiful visions, music, and scenery. Dr. Newton suggests that these images are beloved memories from our lives, to help give a feeling of familiarity during such an overwhelming process. Younger souls may feel sad or confused during this time, and it’s reported that their guides will come to assist and comfort.

3.) Homecoming – Here we are greeted by souls who are close to us. They appear as luminous beings who sometimes project faces of people who are still ‘alive’ in a physicality because our souls only project a certain percentage of itself into the physical body, so there will always be a part of the soul existing in the spirit realm. During this stage the soul begins to remember more about the afterlife and also their previous lives, feeling more at ease with the process. Souls which have committed murder or suicide will analyze their actions with their guide and decide on an appropriate path to begin almost immediately.

4.) Orientation – During the orientation stage a soul will shed any regret/doubt/sadness/traumatic memories from its previous life by going through what clients describe as a ‘shower of light’. This renews the soul’s vibrancy and restores it to its original vibration. Afterwards, we discuss with our guide everything that has happened in our life and decide whether or not we lived up to our expectations about how we dealt with those incidents and if the lessons need to be repeated in the next life.

5.) Transition – After we have completed our light shower and have worked through our previous life, we then move onto what most describe as the most breathtaking visions of the entire journey. Here we see a mega-hub of souls at the same stage, all moving through beautiful tunnels of light to their destination. Clients describe this moment as exciting because there is no darkness, just pure light, and we are also on our way to meet up with our soul family, souls who are at a similar stage in their evolution and who we shared lives with. Once we meet up with these souls, we usually compare experiences and learn from each other. These are souls that we keep reincarnating with over and over again, playing various roles with each other such as partners, brothers/sisters, parents, children, etc. Sometimes souls will be present but dimmer and quieter than others, and that is because they are still projecting a physicality at that moment. Another crucial aspect of this stage is to meet a grand counsel that oversees our previous life, going into more detail about the experiences and lessons learned.

6.) Placement – This stage is almost like a school where larger groups of soul families (up to thousands) who incarnate around each other in cycles learn about their previous experiences. Here clients report projecting into specific scenes from their previous life and into other people’s minds to gain a full understanding of the larger picture. Here we feel what others felt to learn how we hurt people in certain situations. This stage can also see the larger soul groups connecting in circles, sharing more ideas, singing, and experiencing other joyful events.

7.) Life selection – During this stage we move to a large sphere of light where we then choose our next life path. We are able to see multiple paths and are able to temporarily project into these lives to feel which one would be most appropriate. We also have the ability to fast forward through the timelines to see critical events that will happen. Some souls will choose greater challenges to experience such as a disability or premature death.

8.) Choosing a new body – This process is a part of the previous life selection stage, but has a separate categorization because it focuses on the physical appearance that we will possess in the next life. This choice vastly affects our experience, so it usually takes much thought as to what it will be. If you were obese in one life, chances are you will choose to be skinny the next, etc.

9.) Preparation and embarkation – After choosing our life path, next we meet up with our soul group, the people who will play roles in the next life, to do extensive planning and to create synchronicities and cues that will guide us throughout our life. Higher-level guides also help to plan out specific symbols we will see or hear that will trigger certain thoughts and actions at specific times. After the synchronicities are decided, we once again meet with a counsel to go over our goals and plans for the next life. This meeting is also to encourage us to have patience, to hold true to our values, to trust ourselves in the midst of difficult situations, and to avoid indulging in anger and negativity.

10.) Rebirth – Clients report traveling back to Earth through the same tunnel they left in, entering the mother’s womb. Until the age of 5, the soul is able to leave the baby’s body to travel and meet up with other souls if it wishes, but will snap back to the body if the baby is in any turmoil. During the first few years the soul will work to integrate its energy with the brain.

This outline of our experience between lives is based on decades worth of research, and like Dr. Newton and other hypnotherapists state, clients under such hypnotic states will never lie and will only describe what they are actually seeing. How is it that almost everyone who undergoes hypnotherapy or who have NDE or OOB experiences, regardless of whatever religious or cultural background they come from, report such similar experiences? Could it be merely coincidental? How is it that people recall these kinds of experiences after being declared clinically dead? These are the sorts of questions that can only be answered by the assimilation of science and spirituality. In the years to come we will witness more of this conjunction between two seemingly unrelated spectrums, which will ultimately bring us closer to an understanding of life, death, and consciousness like never understood before.


1.) Lommel, Pim van. “About the Continuity of Our Consciousness,” in Brain Death and Disorders of Consciousness, ed. C. Machado and D. A. Shewmon (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2004); Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (2004) 550: 115-132, http://iands.org/research/important-research-articles/43-dr-pim-van-lommel-md-continuity-of-consciousness.html?start=2.

2.) Newton, Michael. Journey of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1994), p. 2; http://spiritualregression.org/.

3.) Wilcock, David. The Synchronicity Key: The Hidden Intelligence Guiding the Universe and You (Part II, chapter 8: Mapping Out the Afterlife). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

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