A disciple of Rikyu once asked, "Just what are the most important things that must be understood and kept in mind for a tea ceremony?"

Rikyu said,

  1. "Make a delicious bowl of tea;
  2. lay the charcoal so that it heats the water;
  3. arrange the flowers as they are in the field;
  4. in summer suggest coolness;
  5. in winter, suggest warmth;
  6. do everything ahead of time;
  7. be prepared for rain;
  8. and give those with whom you find yourself every consideration."

The disciple was dissatisfied with this answer because he could not find anything in it of any great importance that it should be deemed a secret of the practice. The disciple said, "But that much I already know...."

Rikyu replied, "Then if you can host a tea ceremony without deviating at all from any of the rules I have just stated, I will become your disciple."

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