☵ We seem to live in a world of the chronically stressed, get-there-itis and the sense of always being on the losing end of success. These are supposed to be the best of times, full of opportunities, and yet so many people are lost: Internally and well as externally. The Way 道 has become a messed up bowl of spaghetti.
☰ And so, highly stressed professionals come to me. While still dis-believing that Tea Time can equal Me Time, they ask me how it can help them. Not all are martial artists, for martial arts is only one of many paths leading to the same Chakra of Enlightenment.
☶ Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo 兔用心棒 also had this dilemma as he trained to become a samurai 侍. His mind was always thinking about this move and that. No amount of practice could help Usagi overcome the foreboding feeling that he was destined to be nothing more than a third-rate bouncer.
☴ His teacher Katsuichi-Sensei, admonished him for his false mindset by saying: Adversity can strengthen one's character, Usagi. It depends on how one deals with it.
☱ Like most people, Usagi didn't understand. So his teacher made him boil three pots of water. And when the water was boiling, made him put in the first pot a radish, in the second pot an egg, and in the third pot some dried leaves.
☳ When the three items were cooked, Usagi was instructed to take them out of the boiling water. As he did so, Katsuichi-Sensei said: Boiling water represents life's hardships. The radish went in firm and strong, but the water has rendered it soft, weak and mushy. The egg, on the other hand, was once fluid in its shell. Though outwardly it looks the same, the inside has hardened. Adversity has changed both those two.
☷ When Usagi got to the third pot, he wondered about the leaves floating within, that to him did not seem much affected by the water other than being wet and difficult to scoop up. Upon seeing this, Katsuichi-Sensei said: The leaves have changed the boiling water into a savory, aromatic tea. Not suffering for the worse, they changed the very circumstances that would have brought pain. In the face of adversity, which of these three are you?
☲ This is what Tea Time equals Me Time offers - A respite from the doing, so that we have the space and time to actually ponder over these things... A metaphysical form of being at the peak of one's mountain looking down on the landscape around them. It is worth five minutes of your time to be good to yourselves and enjoy that cup of tea.
#kungfumastersthatdrinktea #teatime #baguazhang #usagiyojimbo