March 14, 2022

Advice from a samurai

Japanese tea set up with tea master figurines

It happened a long, long time ago in Japan. A man ran a popular tea shop and was a master of the tea ceremony. People came from far and wide to experience the way he made tea for them.

One day a rather belligerent soldier was passing through and after an altercation, challenged the tea master to a fight.

The tea master was no swordsman and was in despair as honour demanded that he show up the next morning to meet the soldier, and fight. He turned to an old samurai warrior sitting quietly in the corner and asked what to do.

The samurai thought for a moment and then said, “When you do the tea ceremony, you are totally focussed and yet totally calm. Tomorrow morning, raise your sword above your head and adopt that same focussed calm as when you make tea for your customers.”

The next morning, the tea master did as he had been advised, and waited. The soldier stopped and stared… and then bowed and apologised and walked away.

What does this story mean to you?

How can you use what it means?

One way you could consider this story is that it is about states, both of the tea master and the soldier, and how they each created states within themselves and the other.

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

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