There lived a Prime Minister of the Tang Dynasty, a leader celebrated for his statesmanship and military prowess. Rich and powerful though he was, he prided himself on being a humble follower of the Buddha.

He’d often visit a Zen master to further his knowledge. They spent many fruitful hours together as revered teacher and humble student and his position as Prime Minister seemed of little consequence to either of them.

One day, the Prime Minister asked his teacher, “Master, what does the Buddha have to say about egotism?”

The master’s serene expression changed. His face reddening, he asked in a loud, mocking voice, “Now what sort of foolish query is that?”

Taken aback at the insulting tone, the Prime Minister fell silent, his face showing his anger and turmoil.

The Zen master smiled. “Now sir, you know what egotism is.”

A teacher is but a guide – the answers to all questions lie within us. Are we ready for them?