‘If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him’ is a saying attributed to a Zen master. I first encountered it years ago in Sheldon Kopp’s wise book of the same name. I’ve always taken it to be a warning against belief in gurus and bedazzlement with one’s own enlightenment. Sort of ‘kill the idols to “make straight the way of the Lord”‘ or ‘escape the false realities’.
But what if it isn’t only an abstract metaphor?
Just to be on the safe side, I dispatched a mixed force of British infantry, Commandos and German paratroopers to take care of business.
The Enlightened One, however, appears unconcerned.
Meanwhile, as things have turned out I have done my last walk for 2009. The second year of walking home to 50 has taken me from the south of Birmingham through Warwickshire, to the Edge Hill battleground, and along the M40 from soup to nuts. Most posts have been read about 50 times, mainly by a band of regulars; one post through a fluke of media exposure is approaching 20,000 views and had me on national radio, local telly and quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald. I walked around a film studio and wrote a poem about it, ruptured the waterproof lining of my boots and watched a fox lope across the an abandoned railway line between saplings dripping from a summer shower. So all in all a good year.
More route marches along the via negativa in 2010!