tea master


A master of the tea ceremony in old Japan once accidentally slighted a soldier. He quickly apologized, but the rather impetuous soldier demanded that the matter be settled in a sword duel. The tea master, who had no experience with swords, asked the advice of a fellow Zen master who did possess such skill.

As he was served by his friend, the Zen master could not help but notice how the tea master performed his art with perfect concentration and tranquility. “Tomorrow,” the Zen master said, “when you duel the soldier, hold your weapon above your head, as if ready to strike, and face him with the same concentration and tranquility with which you perform the tea ceremony.”

The next day, at the appointed time and place for the duel, the tea master followed this advice. The soldier, readying himself to strike, stared for a long time into the fully attentive but calm face of the tea master. Finally, the soldier lowered his sword, apologized for his arrogance, and left without a blow being struck.

The Tea Ceremony:

Share

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “tea master”

  1. I love this parable/anecdote.

    The two lessons I take from it almost every time are:

    Attitude and bearing are as powerful a weapon as any other.

    Character and dignity (tea master who apologized) will prevail over brutishness (“Soldier”).

    Take this little story and overlay the ‘peaceful protest’ tactics and goals of a Martin Luther King or a Ghandi and you have a ‘connection to life’ opportunity for such a small story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s