The real and the ideal

When a Zen master was weeping at the funeral of his favourite disciple, a young monk who saw him took him to task, saying, “I would have thought that you were beyond such things, Master.” 

“If I did not cry at the funeral of my closest disciple,” replied the master, “when would I cry?”

Genuine feelings are real enough; to hope or desire is to “poison the real with the ideal.”

Courtesy: Zen – Merging of East and West by Roshi Philip Kapleau

Philip Kapleau was one of the founding fathers of American Zen. He made it his life’s work to transplant Zen Buddhism into American soil, bridging the gap between theory and practice and making Zen Buddhism accessible to all. He earned the title of Roshi, given to the spiritual leader of a community of Zen Buddhist monks.

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