The Zen Master and Grief

This post was written by admin on December 2, 2009
Posted Under: Zen story

The Zen master’s best freind had died. He burst our crying at the funeral.

A novice tugged at his sleeve and asked, “Master, master, is this world not illusory?”

The Zen master replied in the affirmative, “It is so.”

“Are not life and death just parts of samsara (the teaching of the Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth),” Continued the novice.

“Yes,” the master replied through his tears and loud sobbing, “life and death are caused by desire and not accepting that life is suffering.”

The student finally said, “Then why are you crying?”

The Zen master quietly replied, “My best freind died. I’m sad. I’m crying.”


My reading of this is to be in the present moment – be happy when it’s time to be happy and be sad and grieve at a time of sadness.As the book of Ecclesiastes says, “To everything a season under heaven… A time to laugh, a time to cry.”

Because the next day the master would be smiling and doing whatever was apt for that time but the novice would still be grieving if his best friend had died.

Related Articles

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Tags: ,

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Previose Post: