Aug 16, 2007

I go to keiko every week

I really don’t go to tea lessons or tea class at least I don’t call it that. It just seems inadequate to what I am doing. When people ask where I go every week after work, I tell them I am going keiko. Keiko in Japanese means training or practice or to learn or involve oneself. The next thing that they ask is after 25 years what are you training or practicing for?

Going to keiko is not necessarily practice for doing a chaji (tea gathering) nor is it necessarily for advancing to the next certificate level nor for keeping in shape, though there is nothing like training your legs for sitting seiza through a 4 hour chaji. Going every week to keiko isn’t really to get to some end result, complete a study, or train for a big event.

Even if I go to keiko and just clean the tatami or wash and put utensils away, it is still as meaningful as if I went through the whole ritual of preparing and serving tea. There is just something so satisfying about going to keiko. No matter how hard it is to get myself to class, to prepare for tea, to go through the hassle of putting on layer after layer of kimono, every week I come away exhausted but nourished. It feeds and fills some place in me that makes it worth while. I feel inspired and energized and ready to face the week ahead.

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