The Zen Series: The Finest Is The Simplest

Parsi Times presents our readers ‘The Zen Series’ by PT Columnist, Kashmira Shaw Raj – a professional Taichi and Qigong practitioner and teacher, as also a sought-after clinical psychologist and healer. These Zen stories will resonate with you and help you connect within, at a deeper, inner level to encourage and empower you to reflect. These make for good reading across people of all ages and speak to the reader at several levels. If you’re looking to bring about a positive change in yourself, ‘The Zen Series’ will inspire, motivate and facilitate you in realizing truths about yourself and life, to ultimately set you on the path of growth, wisdom and happiness.

In this ninth part of ‘The Zen Series’, the short story about elderly gentlemen in Japan leaves much to reflect over!

There was a group of elderly gentlemen in Japan who would meet over tea to exchange news. One of their diversions was to search for costly varieties of tea and create new blends that would delight the palate. When it was the turn of the oldest member of the group to entertain the others, he served tea with the greatest ceremony, measuring out the leaves from a golden container. Everyone had the highest praise for the tea and demanded to know by what particular combination he had arrived at this exquisite blend. The old man smiled and said, “Gentlemen, the tea that you find so delightful is the one that is drunk by the peasants on my farm. The finest things in life are neither costly nor hard to find.”

Take a moment to think of all the treasures you possess. If you suddenly had to leave everything behind, what would you do? We get so caught up with our materialistic acquisitions that we forget it gets banal after a point and limited. Here today, and gone tomorrow. 

Of course, we love our designer clothes, or that favorite doll or record… but what if you were all alone by yourself and had no one else to play with? Would you spend time playing all alone in your mansion or would you rather meet up with friends and listen to scratchy records? It is all about making choices. 

There are some who are happy and content with simple things in life and there are some who need the finest. But here comes the catch… What defines ‘finest’? 

How many of us are able to recognize branded clothes from good quality garments manufactured locally? Don’t we sometimes get carried away with names and brands just because we hear so much about them or because we have seen so many people talking about them? It is said, ‘clothes maketh the man’, but is it the clothes that should decide the person that you are? 

If you look around you will find true beauty in the simplest of things… the best example is the wonder of mother nature – the simple but exquisite rainbow or a full moon or a garden in bloom; or those misty hills and the valley when the mist comes rushing in; or maybe that one, hot cup of tea you have with cold trembling fingers standing by a tea stall on a heavy rainy day… or then that incomparable, innocent smile on your child’s face as they present you their very first fallen tooth, for safe keeping!

Everything that shines and bedazzles is not necessarily the best. In fact, the diamond itself resides deep within the earth. When you sit back to reflect on the finest or best things around you, give a thought to:

  1. Sharing your meals with people who matter to you.
  2. A loved one asking you how you are and how the day has been for you.
  3. Others feeling your pain and understanding you.
  4. A friend being there by your side and being a constant source of inspiration and motivation.
  5. An old but warm and fuzzy T-shirt that your child loves to sleep in, with its old tattered bunny or dog.

The finest things are actually the simplest to find. Well-worn but comfortable shoes will take you much further than a new pair. It is great to pursue things you would like to possess, but if in doing so, you turn a blind eye to what is there right under your nose, then you need to think again. Things come and go. They are just things. But people, and what they bring with them and how they make you feel, are once in a lifetime. So, go and make that cup of tea and ponder…

Kashmira Shaw Raj is a professional Taichi and Qigong practitioner and teacher. Also, a successful clinical psychologist, psychic and healer, Kashmira runs ‘The Tai-Qi Touch’ with her husband, Dr. Brijesh Raj, a healer and a Vet. Taichi practitioners for over fourteen years now, they are instructors in Sifu Carlton Hill’s Tao Taichi Qi Gong organization, and Shibashi Instructors under Sifu Wing Cheung from the Feng Shui and Taichi Institute, Hongkong & Canada. 

The Tai-Qi Touch offers classes for adults and children at ‘Infinite Studio’ (Opp. Starbucks Café, Chowpatty, Mumbai). To contact Kashmira, M: 9323874418 or Email:

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