Jul 28, 2007

Prepare for rain

Living in the Pacific Northwest, this teaching surely applies to us. It rains often and you never know when nice weather will turn to rain. I keep a waterproof raincoat in the car, just in case I get caught out in the rain.

Just as in a tea gathering, the host must prepare for rain with special rain clogs and umbrellas for the guests as well as something to entertain them if they cannot go outside during the break.

At another level, the tea gathering is a complex event and you cannot plan for every single disaster that may or may not happen. Tea training teaches us be flexible if what you have planned goes awry. Preparation in this case is training yourself to deal with whatever comes up. One extra guest shows up? Divide the food so there is enough. Tea spills on the tatami mat? Wipe it up and go on. To be prepared is to respond in an appropriate way as the situation presents itself.

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