Apr 11, 2011
When we begin training in something like tea, it seems like we start with the boring stuff when what we really want to do is to make tea. I started training and it was five months before I made tea. I started with cleaning tatami mats, preparation work and learning to be good guest before I made tea in the tea room for anyone.
Someone said to me that people fall in love with the idea of Rikyu's tea, but when they begin tea training they are disappointed to have to follow the rules and do boring stuff like clean tatami. They just want to make beautiful tea. It is like going to a concert to hear Yoyo Ma play cello, but when they want to learn the cello, they are disappointed to have to do boring things like learning bowing techniques, tuning your instrument and playing scales when they just want to play Bach's sonata.
My husband is a wood worker and he does the most incredible work. However, when he makes a Japanese joint in two pieces of wood, it just looks like two pieces of wood come together. But what is hidden is the complicated carving and fitting that goes on inside the joint so that the two pieces of wood lock together without nails or screws or glue. It is simple, beautiful and will last a lifetime or more.
It seems like many things in life we don't see what is going on inside or behind the scenes. We see successful athletes and marvel at their incredible talent, but don't see the hours and hours and hours of practice in the gym or on the field. We see successful businessmen, but don't see the sacrifices to social and family life. We see artists and craftsmen, masters of their art, but we don't see the years of training, struggle and financial sacrifice.
It's like we expect to be exceptional at something without putting in the time, practice, training and sacrifice. Most people don't want to put in 25 years of tea practice, or spend weekends and nights for years getting a business started. Most people don’t pull consistent all-nighters to nail some key projects, putting them in place for a big promotion.
But if you want to do something badly enough, you will do what ever it takes to make your dreams reality. You need passion to get you through the the tough times and difficult choices you need to make. They do say that nothing worthwhile comes easily and especially nothing worthwhile will come your way without you driving yourself.. Every day is a choice with how you spend your time, how do you choose?