All posts tagged: harmony

Products of different systems

Imagine Us owning up to our differences

The massive vat of stir-fry appeared circa October 2018 at one of the Vipassana meditation camps in Japan. It was a slop of gooey soy-sauced corn-starch jumble of vegetables. I took a teeny bit and mostly filled my bowl with rice, and a massive serving of miso soup. On the last day of the 10-day silent Vipassana camp, silence was lifted and we got chatting. On food, a friend excitedly exclaimed, “The stir-fry was SOOOO good. I had extra helpings of it.” I thought, “You serious!? That was the most disgusting stir-fry I’ve ever seen.” She continued, “I loved the sauce.” “What!? The sauce was practically cornstarch goop.” I thought to myself. I saw a couple other Japanese nodding in agreement to my friend’s positive appraisal of the stir–fry. Thinking difference During the meals when I was thinking how horrible the meal was; there were people who really enjoyed it. The gooey sauce was a hit for Japanese taste-buds. I could see how it had resemblance to Japanese curry sauce or the demi-glace gravy-like sauce …

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. β€œWhat is Harmony?” has been on my mind since a friend said, β€œIt 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 …