Tea ceremony is a beautiful practice that encapsulates most of Japan’s traditional arts. Although the learner in the beginning of his practice focusses mostly on the perfection of the execution of a service of tea, once somewhat accustomed to it the road opens to an exploration of peripheral elements such as choice of implements, flower arrangement and appreciation of calligraphic scrolls.
The tea ceremony opens the doors to exploration of different styles of traditional art and through this the learner begins to cultivate an aesthetic sense of beauty and begins to heighten her awareness and sensitivity of all the senses. Simultaneously study of tea ceremony proposes a way of study and methodology for approaching matters of thought. Cultivating the senses comes as a result of how we approach and think about the different elements we come in contact with in tea ceremony and the way we use this opportunity to study different subjects.
For example, to understand the importance of the scroll in the tea chamber, we don’t simply look at the meaning of the letters written in ink alone. We must also understand the aesthetic value of the mounting, the way to handle and care for the scroll, etc. And in logic succession we must understand the importance of the alcove. The scroll isn’t there because someone decided it would look nice. It is because of the history of the alcove that the practice of presenting a scroll is still passed on today. in addition, to understand the importance of the alcove we must look at the development of architecture in Japan throughout history.
When approaching one subject there are multiple dimensions that need to be taken into consideration. And practice in tea ceremony teaches us to think about all these dimensions when choosing a suitable utensil for the occasion.
in this light, coming in contact with one object gives the learner the opportunity to dig deeper and to ultimately come in contact with a world that is rooted in essential values and traditions. And through adopting this inquisitive mind we can grow our awareness and sensitivity for the deeper, underlying value of things.
Tea ceremony is not “boring” or “difficult” as many may say. On the contrary it is slow and profound, which is why it is often said to take a lifetime to master. Really, once you have adopted an inquisitive mind, there is no floor to the depth of which you can keep spitting things out. And if you do hit rock bottom on one subject, there are many more that await your attention.
This is really what I experience the journey of a tea ceremony practitioner to be. Everyone is constantly on a journey of discovery of one or more aspects of the tea ceremony. And everyone is at his or her own level of the journey. Someone may have started to explore pottery, while someone else may have picked up carving tea scoops, and yet another person may try her hand at calligraphy. But everyone is always somewhere on the path to explore the deeper levels of the peripheral aspects of tea ceremony, while deepening their practice and understanding of the services and practices observed within the tea chamber.
A true devotee to the praxis of tea is not limited to the boundaries of the tea chamber. On the contrary, the spirit of tea oozes out of her pores in whatever she touches in life. The inquisitive cognitive approach becomes part of a way of being in everyday activities; a sense of elegance and aesthetics is at constant present even in the most mundane of activities; and consideration and care is given to the things and beings she handles. It is to create an environment in which objects and beings can present themselves in their purest state, and to handle them with care as if you are going to pass them on for generations into eternity.
But how do you embark on this path?
Before anyone can get to the point of enjoying the tea ceremony and the wealth of knowledge and culture it has to offer as described above, I am well aware that it is necessary to cover the very basics. By this I mean the absolute essentials such as basic comportment in the tea chamber, how to sit, how to walk on the straw matted tatami floor, how to bow, etc. And in succession, how to fold the silk cloth, how to handle the utensils, and the basic procedures that are observed during the most basic of services of tea.
There is a whole lot of practical information that the learner requires before she can eventually embark on the path of deepening her appreciation for the practice. Very simply put, before you can begin to look for items that can enhance your practice, you will at least need a basic understanding of what it is that you are practicing.
I have been learning the tea ceremony for over 14 years now, and I can say that it is a never ending journey. Because this practice is so dear to me, and I have given my life to making it accessible to anyone who wishes to embark on this journey, it is my dream and dearest wish to help as many aspiring tea ceremony practitioners to begin discovering this art, and to help them on their way with their practice.
That is why I have created a new course in which I cover all the elementary aspects of the tea ceremony, for you to at least have a steady base from which to begin your personal tea ceremony journey.
Let me help you learn all the essential skills you need to host a basic tea ceremony service. I would be honored and humbled to be your teacher. And it would be my greatest pleasure to help many more aspiring tea ceremony practitioners to embark on this magnificent journey. I am convinced that together we will be able to make this world a much more beautiful place.
[Click the link above to embark on a journey that will change your life.]