Aug 10, 2007

Following the way

Chado literally translated is the path or way of tea, just as kendo is the way of the sword, shodo is the way of the brush, kado the way of flowers. There are many paths and many do. But what is the path and where is it leading us? Many people think the way is the path to enlightenment, or the way to satori. But this implies that there is an end result we are striving for.

To me the way of tea is the journey of how we conduct our lives every day. It is one step at a time and the particular path we choose only serves as the vehicle or measure of our conduct. In my view, there are not just the traditional paths of practice. There certainly can be running-do, golfing-do, photography-do, woodworking-do and even skateboarding-do.

At some point, if we are serious about something, we will invest time and hard work to become better at it. After some time of working hard at it, we will begin to get rewards out of it that have nothing to do with getting better. And often it becomes a life long pursuit.

There seems to be some of the same stages that are similar in many of these endeavors. At first it seems like a pleasant thing to do, or a social thing to do. Then it becomes a little more serious and we begin to gather information and knowledge about it. Another stage seems to be accumulating the right gear, utensils or equipment. Maybe there is a stage where we investigate the previous or historical recognized masters of the practice. And some of us continue to do it because we just cannot imagine a life without it.

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