(#430) Reality? Question the Buddha

Everyone talking or interrupting and not much listening.
People speaking what they want to hear. Ignoring all else.

Continuing my theme from last week’s post

We find inspiration in surprising places if we choose to stop, listen, and reflect.  This past week I heard a provocative singer-songwriter introduce a song with:

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

The words come from a Zen koan and is offered for a metaphorical lesson about the importance of reflection and authentic questioning.  The road, in this case, is your journey through life.  “The Buddha” symbolizes truth or enlightenment that you believe you have attained.  You believe you have found the final answers.

Not so fast.

The koan teaches that “reality is an impermanent illusion” and we need to “throw out that image (kill it)” and keep seeking truth.

Do not get comfortable. Do not become complacent.  Keep asking authentic questions, listening to what you hear, and ask more questions.

In No Barrier: Unlocking the Zen Koan, Thomas Cleary shares translations of forty-eight koans. You will find more metaphors that connect to the figurative expression “kill the Buddha” and the powerful lesson above.  For example:

  •  “A ship cannot moor where the water is shallow.” (53)

o   We must deepen our thought process to understand. Cleary says “whichever perspective you are absorbed in, it is crucial to be able to go back and forth freely in order to attain both ultimate liberation and objective compassion. Either perspective can kill you or bring you to life.”

  • “Does sound come to the ear, or does the ear go to sound?” (82)

o   Do you hear the message that is being delivered or do you project and hear what you want to hear?

  • “If you only know how to open your mouth, you won’t realize when you’re trapped in words.” (141)

o   Cleary reminds us that “we wind up entrapped in our own points of view. We may think we are talking about realities when all we are doing is talking about what we think.”

Community building requires conversation—true dialogue.  Unfortunately, we often become trapped in collective monologues. Everyone talking or interrupting but not much listening. People speaking what they want to hear. Ignoring all else.  Those behaviors will kill meaningful collaboration.

Video Recommendation of the Week:

Imagine rethinking the accepted.

For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.

Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in amplifying, Appreciation, authenticity, collaboration, Communication, Community, community development, consideration, conversation, curiosity, Integrity, Life lessons and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to (#430) Reality? Question the Buddha

  1. Folk, Miriam says:

    Wonderful post!

    Quick question: would you be willing/able to be a guest speaker for one SLS class this fall? Was thinking of 9/17 from 1:00-2:15 pm; topic:Building

    Can’t pay but would love to treat you to coffee or to lunch! (In any case I’d have the pleasure of your company!!)

    Trying to get plans set this weekend if at all possible. Could you? Would you?

    PS date is not engraved in stone. If another one would work better, we can work it out!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Pingback: (#449) A Blogger’s Retrospective for 2018 | The Growth and Resilience Network®

  3. Pingback: (Issue #602) What is Your Story? | The Growth and Resilience Network®

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