If you knew that Jesus, Buddha or a Great Healer or Philosopher was in your presence, would you treat them any differently than your friends or family?
A Buddha Is Among You
The Abbot of a once famous Buddhist monastery that had fallen into decline was deeply troubled. Monks were becoming lax in their practice, novices were leaving, and lay supporters were deserting to other centers. He travelled far to receive the advice of a Sage and recounted his tale of woe, of how much he desired to transform his monastery to the flourishing Haven it had been in days of yore.
The Sage looked him in the eye and said, “The reason your monastery has languished, is that the Buddha is living among you in disguise, and you have not honoured Him.” The Abbot hurried back to the monastery, his mind in turmoil.
The Selfless One was at his monastery! Who could he be? Brother Hua?…No, he was full of sloth. Brother Po?…No, he was too dull. But then the Tathagata was in disguise. What better disguise than a sloth or dull- wittedness?
He called his monks to him and revealed the Sage’s words. They, too, were shocked and looked at each other with suspicion and awe.
Which one of them was the Chosen One?
The disguise was perfect. Not knowing who the Buddha was, they took to treating everyone with the same respect and honor of a Buddha.
Overtime their faces began shining with an inner radiance that attracted more novices and lay supporters.
In no time at all, the monastery far surpassed its previous glory.
This story reminded me to treat myself and others with the same respect and honor of a Great Prophet in our midst and to remember, we can only accept the love we think we deserve.