Why drinking tea can make you incompetent...

Ever hear the story about the Scholar and the Zen Master?

It's one of my favourites.

And, there's a valuable lesson in it too.

Here it is:

"Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

Reminds me of a guy who started in the U3A classes a few weeks ago. Always got at least one opinion on what I'm saying.

He says things like, "It's very similar to so-and-so"

And, "I would call that, "thingimijig".

Or whatever it is that he's calling it. Could be anything, but polarisation is a favourite.

I try not to take too much notice.

Because my job is to try and teach the people who really are interested in learning t'ai chi. Not the ones who come to show off their stuff from whatever book they've just read. And turn up late to do so.

I do feel sorry for him though.

Because he doesn't really know what he's looking for at the t'ai chi class. He's come to a beginners class and an intermediate class and another intermediate class.

But the classes aren't quite what he's looking for. 'Cos he doesn't know what he's looking for. It seems he's looking to show off his knowledge, rather than learn something new, and possibly useful.

The said chap reminds me exactly of the Zen story above. Too full of other stuff to be able to learn t'ai chi. I hope he finds what he's looking for soon.

I don't think it's t'ai chi though.

Ok, I've laboured the point a little and had a mild rant but I hope you may recognise where this may fit into your life somewhere. Maybe someone you know.

I try not to presume that I know what something is until I've experienced it.

And, I try to be open to the experience it without judgement.

Those last two words are important



PS On the subject of tea, Adele drinks a lot of it.

Me? I'm more your coffee kind of guy. Or if you live in New York, cwofee.

Anyway, there's a small number of places left in the Cheng Hsin class on Saturday and we don't start until 10am

So, you've got plenty of time for a cup of tea and a sticky bun (or a cwofee with bis-coo-its) before you start.

Get your caffeine fix with me here:


And together, we'll gently explore the martial side of the Force.

Trust in the Latte, Luke.