One of the Great Ones

Call to Greatness

Call to Greatness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a tribute to the passing of Robert Aiken Roshi, Philip Ryan described Aiken as ‘one of the great ones.’ Since I don’t know much about Aiken and his work I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant.

It has been my experience at funerals that the deceased is almost never paid tribute to for his achievements and stature in the community but for what a great Dad or spouse or friend they were.  Invariably the quiet kindness they did and the time and shoulders they always had ready for others is part of the discussion.  I suspect that Aiken, along with being a Zen teacher ,was all of these.

I wonder what the world would be like if the major focus of our lives was first and foremost our connections and compassion with the world and people around us?  What if  our achievements and social and monetary status came in a very, very, very distant last?


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