Everything is unique, nothing happens more than once in a lifetime. The physical pleasure which a certain woman gave you at a certain moment, the exquisite dish which you ate on a certain day - you will never meet either again. Nothing is repeated, and everything is unparalleled.
- The Goncourt Brothers
Zentetsu Philip Kapleau, Roshi, author of The Three Pillars of Zen and founder of the Rochester Zen Center in upstate New York, died on May 6, 2004 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Philip Kapleau left the US and moved to a Monastery in Japan in 1953. He spent the next thirteen years undergoing rigorous Zen training under three Japanese Zen masters before being ordained by Hakuun Yasutani-roshi in 1965 and given permission to teach. Roshi Kapleau’s book chronicling his training in Japan, The Three Pillars of Zen, was published in 1965. Still in print, it was the first practice-oriented book on Zen training in the West and has been translated into twelve languages. In June 1966, upon returning to the United States and as a result of interest generated by the book, he was able to found the Rochester Zen Center.
In addition to The Three Pillars of Zen, Kapleau’s other books include The Zen of Living and Dying, Zen: Merging of East and West, To Cherish All Life, Awakening to Zen, and Straight to the Heart of Zen. He is survived by his wife, deLancey Kapleau, and his daughter, Sudarshana Kapleau.