Atlantis wrote:I don't think it says anything about seeing him in the streets.What does "if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him" mean?
"Dyung Le, Long time Buddhist practitioner
The context of this phrase is from a old Zen koan attributed to Zen Master Linji, (the founder of the Rinzai sect). The whole saying is "If you meet a Buddha, kill the Buddha. If you meet a Ghost, kill the Ghost" (Vietnamese “Phùng Phật Sát Phật, Phùng Ma Sát Ma”). My interpretation of this Zen parable is different from what has been enunciated.
During meditation, everything we encountered is a construct of the mind.
Advanced meditators often get into a state where they start to see ("visualize") various phenomena (light, flying, scenery, etc.) Very often they see deities, Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, holding forth with teachings, or appearing to give blessing, etc.
Since Zen meditators seek to be free to all emotion, thoughts, concepts, etc., and the Buddha itself is but a "concept", if you "see" the Buddha, make sure to get rid of him. Do not get attached to him. He's no different than a ghost, both are construct of your mind.
It should be noted that this saying is entirely within the Zen context. In other Buddhist schools (Pure Land for example), practitioners seek to "meet the Buddha" and would be overjoyed to "see" the Buddha in their dreams! It should be noted that this happens within the context of a dream, not during meditation, so there is no conflict between the two schools."
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Marx (Groucho)