Oct 12, 2007


There is a point in the preparation of tea when a silk cloth is folded in intricate ways to purify the tea utensils. Folding the fukusa (silk cloth) at the beginning of temae (procedure for making tea) is a chance for the host to calm him/herself, and get his breathing under control. It is also the time when the guests, watching the host fold the fukusa, begin to breathe in unison with the host.

It is amazing what happens to the atmosphere in a room where everyone is breathing in unison. Awareness and attention is focused, tensions begin to fall away, and a feeling of quiet and harmony pervade the room. This simple act of breathing together reminds us that we share many more things in common than differences. Breathing is life. Breathing together in a shared space underlines that we are all in this world together.

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