His acrobatics were impressive, but they were merely a demonstration of his strength. The source was this tea ritual and many other rituals like it. His power as a warrior came from his patience, precision, attention to subtlety, concentration, and his reverence for the moment.
Both of my children had the benefit of attending a private elementary school in Taiwan which eschewed the current trend for using tech for tech’s sake in schools, and instead focused on more giving children more time to slow down and think. They took classes in Chinese calligraphy, Farming, Kendo, Art, and Tea Making. All required otherwise hyper kids to slow down and focus on what they were doing at the moment, and importantly, all were physical to some degree. Tea making not only taught them the importance of ritual, but also taught them how to make a proper cup of tea (a not to be dismissed skill).
The power of ritual is profound and under-appreciated. Mostly, I think, it’s because we live in a time-starved culture, and ritual is time-indulgent. Who can afford the luxury of doing one thing at a time? Who has the patience to pause and honor an activity before and after we do it?
Here’s what makes it easy to get started with this: no one needs to know.
Start with just yourself. Sit at your desk in the morning, pause before booting up your computer, and mark the moment. Do this by taking a deep breath. Or by arranging your pens. Whatever it is, do it with the intention of creating respect for what you’re about to begin. Do the same before you make a phone call. Or receive one. Or before you meet with a colleague or customer.
Though I find computers to be lifeless things, preparing yourself for a work sprint seems like a good idea to me.