Your Zhuangzi skill story (Butcher cuts an Ox)
. Read Ch. 3, p 224-5: The Key to Nourishing Life: A Butcher (Cook Ding) cuts an ox. The Zhuangzi tries to tell us that the most important way of living is to be skilled at practical tasks, so skilled in fact that one barely notices what one is doing. Developing and refining skills and spontaneous responses are the ideal way to live, as illustrated by Butcher Ding in carving an ox. Assignment: Taking this reading as a template, write your own Zhuangzi skill story, but based on contemporary life. It should be a portrait of a highly skilled maestro or virtuoso, and should describe the kinds of actions they perform effortlessly; e.g., a barista working in a coffee shop. Try to be as specific as possible in your descriptions of this skilled ‘masters’ actions. In what ways does the figure you describe display “effortless action” or masterly control of him/herself and the environment? Describe this as fully and carefully as you can!