“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” When I first heard that assertion, I was frowned. How can someone who is on spiritual path, on a path that should push you to have an “inner growth”, suggests to kill someone else?

I took a moment of reflection for me to understand that the speaker was not referring to killing Lord Buddha but killing our conceptualization and belief, the idea we understand it all. This was the means of “Killing the Buddha”

We all face up moments in our journey where we need to seek advice from those further along the path. But within the teacher-student relationship can arise a point at which the student can idolize the teacher and forgoes his own growth that is the purpose of all spiritual practice. It happened to me.

What I realized in all these years, trying to quench my spiritual thirst and my desire to understand life on a deeper level, is that we need a mentor especially at the beginning but we do not need to assign our “enlightenment” to someone else thinking that only through them we become free. That is attachment and by hero-tizing someone else you are belittling yourself on some level. There is no savior, the disillusion to rely on a guru that can turn out to be just another man like you must be accepted. The teacher open up a door for you but you have to walk yourself through it, becoming a teacher yourself through some guide at the beginning for sure but then through your own practice, your deep contemplation, your study.

We need to have regression in our practice, to remain open instead of be closed in our believing. We need to move on our path, whatever it is, with a Zen Beginner’s Mind: a mind that knows that it doesn’t know everything at all

This brings you toward a total exposure, a place of full vulnerability at all the uncertainties and insecurities, and become at ease in that vulnerability.

So, the next time you see the Buddha on the road, be sure to kill him.