Amrapali said, “The bliss and the benediction I have seen radiating from your disciple in these four months – I myself could not resist.” The people who had been so anxious for this day to come so they could inform Buddha, “Now look what has happened, your disciple has not returned,” were very much ashamed. Not only had he returned, he had brought with him a transformed human being.
Anando, the meditation that Buddha gave to the world is perhaps one of the most significant. There are many meditations, many ways to enter into yourself, but Buddha’s is sharp, almost like a sword – it cuts everything that hinders. And even in a split second, you can reach to your ultimate destiny.
But for that, Rinzai says: If you meet a buddha…He does not mean the actual Buddha, because where will you meet him now? Even when he was alive – I mean Rinzai – Buddha had been dead for almost fifteen hundred years. So what is the meaning?
If you meet a buddha, cut him down…
It is a meditation process. When you go deeper into yourself, you are bound to meet figures which are very close to your heart. If you have loved Buddha, you are going to meet Buddha before you meet yourself. It will be just an image, but in the silences of the heart that image will be so radiant that there is a possibility you may sit by the side of the image and forget that this is not the goal.
If you meet a buddha, cut him down –Immediately! If you meet a patriarch, a master, cut him down – immediately!
…if you meet an arhat, cut him down; if you meet your parents, cut them down and if you meet your relatives, cut them down. Only thus will you be liberated…
It is an inner psychological process – making you free from the master, from the parents, from the friends. It has nothing to do with the outside world, it is your inner world where images go on gathering. And unless all these images are dissolved, you cannot see yourself. They are preventing your perception. Rinzai’s description of the Buddhist meditation is excellent.
And if you are not held by externals, you will be disengaged and comfortably independent.
Now, the internals you have cut down. The images, your dreams, your love affairs, you have destroyed all of them and made the path towards you clean, but you may still be attached to externals. You may be ready to cut away your parents’ image and be free of it, but the desire for power in the world, the desire to be the richest man in the world…A thousand and one desires surround you in the external world.