For about two weeks I’ve been trying to make sense of it: The Headless Buddha.
…It was one of those moments when I was caught up in a spiral of self-doubt and self-flaggelation, when I re-discovered my heart.
In despair I was challenging the youtube-oracle.
I discovered a talk on “The trance of unworthiness” by Tara Brach, a teacher I really value for her compassionate pursuit:
“We can only meet ourselves with compassion,” she concludes the human striving for liberation.
Finally, I’m swallowing the medicine.
Suddenly I’m placing one hand on my heart and one on my belly.
I’m holding myself.
This is when I understand:
My mind deteriorates my self-esteem.
My mind strangles myself with reproaches.
Meeting myself with compassion – that’s the least I can do!
It is that simple.
And so I am lying there on the couch. One hand on my heart and one on my belly. My eyes filled with tears of relief.
I breathe and I cry.
That’s all it takes.
I remember the teachings of yoga I had received.
I let my body do the work.
A couple of moments later: All anxiety vanished.
I find myself going for a short walk.
What happened next still blows my mind:
I’m walking slowly towards the nearby park, contemplating the Buddhist teachings of impermanence – “anicca, anicca, anicca…,” echoing in my head…
When I gaze towards the bushes, suddenly, I see a headless Buddha standing there right at the framing of the sidewalk!
It is one of those decorative candle bearers a lot of people have standing in their bathroom or on the wardrobe.
Its head is accurately positioned where the candle is supposed to shine.
Immediately the omnipresent quote: “If you meet the Buddha, kill him!,” comes to my mind.
What does this quote, apparently firstly stated by Linji Yixuan, signifies?
“Killing the buddha” asserts ‘to quiet all concepts’ – about Buddhism, spirituality and ‘the path’ in general.
It’s about finding the teacher within.
It implies the actualization of emptiness by self-observation and unbiased contemplation.
The next thing I read is the word Kenshō, which is widely translated as “seeing one’s true nature”. Accordingly to Wikipedia it is often used interchangeably with the word satori, which signifies ‘comprehension’ or ‘understanding’.
It is often being mistaken for ‘enlightenment’, but this is not what it is. It is one step on the path, one realization of the non-personal nature of our lives….
I remember the moment on the couch earlier. The moment of surrender that lifted a weight off my shoulder and my chest.
It was the moment when I finally understood that this body is solely a vessel. It’s a precious vessel, because it maneuvers me through my physical experience here on earth.
My mind keeps me in chains, while my body sets me free.
There is so much more to say about that! There are so many terminologies and symbolism to study, but for now that’s all I’m able to share here – my personal encounter with the headless Buddha.