Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fearless Tea Party

In the Movie Fearless, the hero Huo Yuan Jia played by Jet Li is having tea with one of his adversary, Japanese Kendo Master Tanaka.

The following is a transcript of their conversation :

  • Mr Huo, according to what you say, you really don't know the nature of tea.

  • It's not that I don't know, I really don't want to know, because I don't care about evaluating teas. Tea is tea. But each tea has its own character and properties. What is the purpose of grading ? These many teas are grown in nature, all of them. Is there a discernable difference ?

  • Yes, once you learn this, you can tell the difference between the teas.

  • What you say may be right, but the way I see it, the tea does not judge itself. It's people that judge its grading. Different people chose different things. As for me, as far as I'm concerned, I just don't want to make any choice.

  • Is that so ?

  • Drinking tea is a mood, really. If you are in a good mood, the grade of tea doesn't matter.

  • I've never looked at it like that. I understand that there are many wushu fighting styles. Are you saying no style is greater than another ?

  • That's what I'm saying.

  • If that's true, I want to ask you, if wushu does not differ in any way, why then do we fight each other ?

  • I believe for all the styles of wushu, there is no single one that is superior. All of those who practice different styles of wushu, they would naturally have a different level of skill. Through competition, we can discover ourselves.

  • What you just said makes me have more respect for you. Enjoy

  • You first

This reminds me of one comment by Elliston Sensei during our last Sesshin at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center. Speaking about the beauty of flowers, he reminded us that we are the ones believing that they are beautiful. The flower herself does not know that she is, this is us who think she is.

There is no such thing as beauty in itself, it is the interaction of the flower and the being seeing her. There is no such thing as a good or bad tea. A tea can't be good without someone to drink it, and appreciate it. And depending on the conditions, I will or will not appreciate that particular cup.

There is no Martial Art (Wushu in Chinese, Bujutsu in Japanese - 武術 ) style better than an other. The issue of a fight only depends of the conditions of the fight and fighters. Competition is about leaning where we stand.

1 comment:

fRANK d said...

good post.
I went looking for the quotes from fearless because in the photography community there is always so much discussion over which cameras are better than others and its sad really. As in this with the tea, no camera is good or bad as cameras pass no judegment on themselves it is people who judge and decide and if we are so caught up on grade we will miss the fact that a camera is just a camera and that it is the person using it that really matters.