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Philip Kapleau Roshi

Philip Kapleau Roshi

Philip Kapleau Roshi was a renowned author, teacher, and spiritual leader who gained international recognition for his work in Zen Buddhism. Born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1912, he began his spiritual journey at an early age, traveling to Japan at the age of 24 to study Zen Buddhism. It was there that he met his teacher, Hakuun Yasutani Roshi, and began a lifelong study of Zen.

After returning to the United States, Roshi established the Rochester Zen Center in upstate New York in 1966, an institution that would become one of the most respected centers for Zen Buddhism in the Western world. He also authored several best-selling books, including The Three Pillars of Zen, which has been translated into 12 languages and has sold over one million copies.

As a teacher, Roshi was known for his compassionate and accessible approach to teaching Zen, making it accessible to Westerners who may have had no prior experience with the practice. He emphasized the importance of inner exploration and understanding, as well as the integration of Zen into everyday life.

Roshi's contributions to the field of Zen Buddhism earned him numerous accolades and honors throughout his lifetime, including being named a Special Contributor to the Encyclopedia of Religion and receiving the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese government. His teachings continue to inspire and guide those who seek to deepen their understanding of Zen and themselves.

Despite passing away in 2004, Roshi's legacy lives on through the Rochester Zen Center and his numerous writings, which remain influential in the field of Zen Buddhism. He will forever be remembered as a dedicated and compassionate teacher who brought the wisdom of Zen to the West, leaving an indelible mark on the spiritual landscape of our time.

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