A Japanese warrior named Taiko who lived before the Tokugawa era studied the Tea Ceremony (Cha-no-yu), or tea ceremony, with Sen no Rikyu, a master of the art of subtle expression of equanimity. this serenity and self-satisfaction.
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Another warrior under Taiko named Kato thought his leader’s passion for the Tea ceremony was a distraction from his duty to the country, so he decided to kill Sen no Rikyu. He pretended to visit the tea master and was offered tea. The tea master was adept at his art, so at a glance he knew the warrior’s intentions. Therefore, he suggested that Kato leave the sword outside before entering the room for the tea ceremony, explaining that the Tea Ceremony itself is an expression of peace.
Kato refused to listen to these explanations. He said: “I am a warrior, I always carry a sword. Whether it’s the Tea Ceremony or not, I still have to carry my sword.”
Mr. Sen no Rikyu approved: “Okay, bring your sword in for tea.”
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When the kettle was boiling on the charcoal stove, Mr. Sen no Rikyu suddenly pushed it gently, tilting it down. The fire met the water with a hissing sizzling sound and a cloud of steam and ashes sprayed across the room. The warrior panicked and ran out.
The tea master apologized: “It’s my fault, please come back for tea. I’m holding your ashes-covered sword here. I’ll clean it up and return it to you later.”
In this awkward situation, the warrior realized that it was not easy for him to kill the tea monk. So he gave up the idea.
Quote from Knocking on the Door of Meditation (101 Zen stories) – Translation and commentary by Nguyễn Minh