Page 15 - The Way of Beauty - Meidao

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3

"Like this cup," says Yamada in a calm but certain tone, "your head is also full of opinions and illusions. How can I show you my Zen if you do not empty your head first?"

Startled and feeling somewhat disoriented, Murphy accepts the teacup. To make things even worse, he fumbles and drops the tea cup. An accident never comes alone, he thinks. The cup falls against the meditation bell on the ground in front of him, breaking in two. It makes such an unusual noise that Yamada closes his eyes. He is clearly deep in thought. The same thing that he, Murphy, was scolded for, is happening now to Yamada. What is he doing? Is he in meditation?

After several minutes the master comes back to the conscious world. He opens his eyes, gets up, and makes a deep bow to Murphy. "I offer you my

apologies", says Yamada sincerely. "Thank you, Professor Murphy-san, for this wise lesson. Will you join me for dinner tonight? Why don't you go to the guest house, rest, and come back tonight at seven. We have a lot to talk about."

Murphy frankly doesn't understand what Yamada is talking about at all, but one thing is clear to him, he hasn't done anything wrong.

Alone in his room afterwards, sitting with his laptop, he thinks about the teacup event. It won't let him go. The look on Yamada's face and that voice, "Thank you, Professor Murphy-san, for this wise lesson." If only he could have learned something too! The only thing he has learned so far, during his short time with Japanese people, is that everyone addresses him with the suffix “ san ”. So he must now get used to being called “Murphy-san”.

That Night

Exactly on time, Murphy slides open the rice-paper door to the dining room. He takes off his shoes and sees Yamada sitting at a long, low table in a black kimono, beautifully embroidered in gold. Yamada has combed his just-washed black hair straight back, making him look like a typical Japanese - neat as a pin. Before taking a seat across from Yamada, Murphy puts on a dark blue kimono, which has been laid out for him to wear. After drinking their first cup of sake, Murphy tries his first, and for him only, piece of sushi. Yamada, clearly enjoying himself, asks him to explain what was occupying his thoughts earlier. With the raw fish sitting like a piece of lead

Page 15 - The Way of Beauty - Meidao

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