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February 17, 2017

The Daoist Butcher

There was once a Daoist butcher who was carving a joint of meat for a customer who had been coming for many years. “Pardon me,” the customer asked, “But isn’t that the same knife you had last year? Do you need to sharpen it often?” “It’s the same knife I’ve had for the last 17 years,” the butcher replied, “And I haven’t had to sharpen it even once. For, when I cut the meat, I allow the knife to find its own way through the flesh without effort or stress. “And when I come to a tricky bit with lots of cartilage, I just slow down and allow the mystery to solve itself and in no time the meat falls right off the blade.”