Linji Yixuan

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

On the road to awakening and enlightenment, two impediments are attachment and duality.

Attachment arises from karma; our intentions, actions and consequences in our past lives (days of our life) to which we prescribe meanings which frame our experience of the now. Karma precludes us from experiencing reality as it is what it is whatever it is; instead, we experience reality in terms of meanings, generalizations and descriptions that are illusionary, creations of our mind. Thus, on the road to awakening, we need to free ourselves from the attachments, our karmic prison. The illusionary associations we have with things like Buddha need to be destroyed in order for us to awaken; for Buddha is who he is whomever he is.

Moreover, perceiving a thing, like the Buddha, as independent of other things is at the core of duality; the thing and not the thing. Enlightenment is the realization that every thing is a different facet of one thing. Thus, on the road to enlightenment, any thing (like a man named Buddha) that appears apart and separate from other things gives rise to duality and must be dispensed with.

What matters is the message from the Buddha, not the Buddha. Otherwise, the medium is the message and the medium is an illusion.