When serving tea, the selection of the serving vessel is of the highest importance. The selection of tea with regard to the guest matters far less. This matters most because the vessel must appear to be completely unimportant. It must suit the guest so well that it hardly sways his attention.

Only the humblest vessel will do for any occasion - not the same vessel each time, but the one which draws the least attention to its beauty on that day.

Likewise, each implement after the tea-bowl must be chosen to complement the situation, rather than drawing attention to itself.

It is not right to serve tea of the highest grade to one who will not appreciate its heritage, but only to serve tea which is of a little higher estate than the guest, that it is a little better than he can appreciate. This is to honor the guest as well as to instruct him in the appreciation of the sublime.

Yet for the haughty guest, it is better to serve the plainest tea in a plain vessel, so as not to inflame his pride.

In every other way, the guest ought be treated as a king, and a king as just another guest.

A humble dish prepared with much care is loftier fare than many ostentacious courses.

Simplicity lends focus and humility grants high estate. Extravagance is a thief who dashes the rich man and his thoughts among the reef and shoals in the midst of storm.