Dec 24, 2007

The place to practice

There is a scroll that is often used in the tea room: Jiki shin kore do jo. It means the pure and simple heart is the place to practice.

When studying tea, it often comes up that people do not have a tea room, there is no place to practice and they cannot study chanoyu. When I first began to study chanoyu, I measured out a four and a half mat tea room on my living room floor and used masking tape to mark the mats. I used my stovetop kettle and a ceramic cereal bowl and a carved wooden popsicle stick to practice making tea.

Chanoyu developed in Japan and originally took place in a tatami mat room, but it is a living tradition that has adapted with the times. Gengensai developed the ryurei or table style tea that can take place in any room or even out of doors. There is also chabako, a traveling tea set you can use to make tea anywhere. I have taken my chabako on hikes in the mountains, to parks, and other outdoor venues. With a thermos of hot water and a chabako, tea ceremony can be done anywhere.

The beginning tea procedure, ryakubon can be done without a tatami mat room. I have a set in my living room and have used it to make tea for guests on the coffee table with an ordinary tea kettle of hot water on a trivet. I even had a ryakubon set at the office that I used to make tea for my collegues, or even just myself when I needed to take a 15 minute break in a busy day.

The point is that you do not have to have all the utensils to practice chanoyu. Just use what you have, adapt the rest and make good tea for your guests.

No comments:

Post a Comment