Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Way of Tea

This week I read an article about the wanderful ritual of a Japanese Tea Ceremony. Also known as Sado, Ocha or Chanoyu in Japanese. This ceremony is not so much about drinking the tea, it is more about "preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart".

How beautiful would that tea taste!!

The man referred to as the tea master Sen Rikyu (1522-1591) studied tea from an early age. As meditation in action, the practice of tea developed in Japan alongside the practice of Zen Buddhism.

The tea used in the ceremonies is called "matcha" which is a powdered form of Green Tea. This is a very special event, where the host can spend days focusing on aesthetics, the appearance of the food, the utensils used in serving the food, and the decoration of the eating place.  This creativity and concern for beauty is so intense that tea can really be referred to as an art form. 

The Four Principles of Tea
These four principles infuse everything to do with tea ceremony and form the foundation for the spiritual in tea.
Kei – respect
Kei i
s a profound reverence toward all things, and is a characteristic of humility.
Sei – purity
Sei contains the thought of orderliness in life, cleanliness, and purity.

Jaku – tranquillity
Jaku means calm even amid the chaos. To be able to create the sense of calm is jaku.

Wa – harmony
Wa is the complete harmony of all elements: guests, utensils, nature and attitude.

"Leaving familiar reference points of the world behind, hosts and guests create a gentle moment, without past or future. Preparing and serving a bowl of tea is a discipline of mindfulness and awareness, a celebration of the senses and a journey to open heart."

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