Nov 20, 2007

Kansha for gratitude

Kansha is a part of the etiquette for receiving tea and sweets. Before taking sweets, the tray or bowl is lifted slightly from the floor as the head is bowed in silent thanks. Then the guest can take out his pack of papers and take a sweet.

Just as before the guest drinks from the tea bowl, it is lifted slightly in the hands as the head is bowed again in silent thanks. This is gratitude not just to the host for making the tea, but for everyone and everything that made it possible to drink the tea here and now.

This small gesture, kansha reminds us to be thankful not just for the immediate right now, but for all the things that have allowed us to be here with what we have today. When we are about to eat and drink, kansha. When we are about to start something, a small bow as kansha, gratitude that allows to embark on what we are about to do. Yes, that includes housecleaning. Kansha.

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