Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, Koan, master, Meditation, Mind, Practice, root, student, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q197. How can we remove our illusions like removing mud from muddy water in a bottle?

A. To remove our illusions, like removing mud from muddy water, doesn’t mean to remove them from our mind to another place in the same way that we might move things from one place to another; rather, we should realise that illusions are not real but empty. In other words, it is necessary to realise that what we think of as mud is not mud at all, but just water itself; it only appears as mud due to our discrimination. Trying to move illusions to another place is like trying to remove lion’s horn. The only way to remove lion’s horn is just to realise that no lion has a horn.



Student: “How can I remove my illusions?”

Master: “Where are they?”

Student: “They are in my mind.”

Master: “Where is your mind?”

Student: “I don’t know.”

Master: “Try to find your mind before trying to remove your illusions.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, final goal, illusion, Koan, Meditation, self, Zen

Q80. What did ancient masters mean when saying, “Kill the Buddha”?

A. It is from the well-known saying in Zen, “If you want to see the Buddha, kill him if you should meet him.”
It means that you should break away the illusion of a thing when it comes to you if you are to see the essence of it. Most people have images of the Buddha although they have never seen him. It is indeed a very good example of an illusion. Illusions die hard because we are highly addicted to them, so masters employed strong language like that in order to put emphasis on eliminating illusions.

Bronze Bhudda_a_thumb

Likewise, if you are to see the essence of you, you should remove the image of you. The very typical image of you is your body, and I can tell you to kill yourself to convey my meaning that you should remove your established image of yourself, instead of telling you to ask yourself what you are when your body is not you. So “Kill the Buddha” mentioned above, means to perfectly remove the illusion of a thing in order to see the essence of it.

©Boo Ahm