Tea practice can be subtle. I noticed a habit of control that hijacked other’s opportunity to learn. Some food for thought.
This question asked of a contestant at a Beauty Pageant 25 years stuck. How would you answer it? What does it say about you?
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 …
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.