All posts tagged: tea ceremony

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 …

Beauty Pageant Q&A twenty-five years later

Beauty pageants was a thing in the days of television. It was fun to watch: the song and dance, ball gown and swimsuit parades, and the Q&A the pageants have to go through. One question stuck for over 25 years, “As a Miss Hong Kong, you need good manners and deportment going about your day. When you are at the ladies, do you need good manners and deportment also?” The contestant fumbled for an answer. What probably was going through her mind and what was going through mine at the time was, “How does one go to the loo with (ahem) deportment?”  Let me fill you in on background. In the heyday of beauty pageantry, TV stations had big budgets to spend hiring experts to teach contestants how to walk, how to carry themselves, how to adhere to certain protocols. Perhaps not unlike what Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle would go through to adhere to – in their case –  royal protocols. After weeks of such training, the contestant’s probably thinking – yes, I need …