All posts tagged: chado

Tea lessons: let go of control

Tea Practice is a bit like a world of its own. It’s somewhat of an insular practice space, a Dojo (道場)for immersive learning. It’s freeing in a sense beause it doesn’t come with the stakes and stressess of a workplace. Because we gather because of our common interest in Tea, Practice, and Japanese culture. Our Senior teacher once asked, “Do you know how Japanese and Chinese tea practice differ?” To which we discussed,“The Chinese ‘art’ of tea probably places more emphasis on the taste, the origins, the tenor of the tea?” we continue, “Whereas Japanese Tea Practice, or Chado (way of tea) is about the practice of the whole person.”  Our Senior teacher nods in acknowledgement. Indeed, aside from the ceremony of serving the tea, almost everything around the Tea Practice serves as potential for learning.  To Help or Hijack? Last Saturday, before the start of class, we gathered in the Mizuya (水屋), the water room for prepping and cleaning utensils, arranging sweets. One of our teachers asked a classmate to help cut up a …

Pouring Sake for others | Where My Heart Leads

Can we experience Harmony in everyday life?

Japan stepped into a new era – Reiwa (Enabling Harmony) – when Crown Prince took the throne on May 1st. “What is Harmony?” has been on my mind since a friend said, “It went really smoothly. It was harmonious.” she said of a New Years tea gathering we helped host. Harmony has great significance in Japanese tea ceremony. As a Japanese Tea student, we are introduced to the concept of Harmony early on – a four character scroll, summarizing the four tenets of Chado Wa (Harmony) Kei (Respect) Sei (Pure) Jaku (Tranquility) written in large ink brush script would hang in the centre of the alcove – like a Buddhist master transmitting his teachings, reminding the student to hold these tenets of the practice to heart. Despite trays of exquisitely arranged food of more than 10 items each needing to be assembled, bowls of tea to be whisked and served, sake to be poured and a few mishaps thrown-in, the new year tea gathering flowed like clockwork. Everyone on our service team stepped up to complete …

Look beyond skin-deep

Are you more than skin-deep?

We got a slap on our hands without an actual slap. I realise that we judged him from how he looked, not how he was as a person. And that was surely not the Way of tea, or the Way of Life in any manner. Big lesson learnt.