Noble guest

Dear brothers and sisters,

Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T’ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils: Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. (No attachment to dust, Story 77 in 101 Zen Stories – Zen Master Nyogen Senzaki compiled, anh Hoành translated and annotated).

What does that mean? – “Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest.”

Most of us show ourselves very well when facing a noble guest in a bright room. We may speak more positively and have more excited mood. Meanwhile, alone in a dark room, we may have an opposite attitude. We may not have much excited mood. We may have more negative emotions.

Why do we have those different attitudes?

Perhaps because we don’t have any noble guest whom we want to face when alone in a dark room. Or perhaps when facing nobody, we feel that we don’t have the need to show ourselves.

If we only have the need to show our positive selves when facing a noble guest, not when facing our friends and relatives, or not when facing nobody or ourselves, positive things we show to the noble guest are fake.

If we are a person who is positive, no matter who and what we face, even only the 4 blank walls, we will be positive.

So what should we do? How do we have a noble guest whom we want to face even though alone in a dark room?

Let me tell you a very noble guest. Anyone can come to him. You don’t have to be a noble to meet him. The lowly and the noble, the good, the bad and the ugly…, anyone can come to him and befriend him. However, you can meet him anytime and anywhere. He is everywhere, in everyone and in ourselves. Yes, you’re right. That’s the Buddha.

The Buddha is everywhere. Buddha is in everyone. Buddha is in each one of us. Even though alone in a dark room, you face Buddha.

Facing Buddha, your heart is peaceful and full of love. Morever, you are positive with all people, not only with a noble guest. And positive things you show to all people are true.

Face Buddha.

Have a nice day.

Phạm Thu Hương

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