What Illusory Thoughts?


A newly ordained monk often thought of his family. One night he missed his father and began to worry about him. The next morning, when he opened his door, the Master was standing there and admonished him, “Why such illusory thoughts!”

Bewildered, the new monk asked, “What illusory thoughts?” He then respectfully explained to the Master, “I was only thinking about my family.” The Master immediately responded, “That is an illusory thought.”

Suddenly the young monk understood the Zen saying: “The moment one raises a thought, one departs from the truth.” All wandering thoughts are illusory. A Buddhist monk’s duty is to practice diligently to attain the Way, and to do so is the best way to repay the kindness of his parents.” Upon this realization, his illusory thoughts immediately ceased.