Jun 27, 2008

Leaving no trace

I was working out in the yard pulling weeds this week. When I was younger, my dad made me pull weeds for punishment, but after awhile, I really got into it and I asked to go out to the backyard to pull weeds. It became an experience for me. I was going to write a post about leaving no trace and in my yard, it looks like I have not left a trace since last month, the last time I weeded.

My husband is a woodworker who makes exquisitely beautiful and artistic furniture, boxes and shoji screens. He never signs his work. He thinks that the design and craftsmanship of the pieces should speak for themselves rather than him, the artist. He doesn't own the piece and doesn't feel right putting his name on it.

In tea, we must let go of owning the experience. It just is what it is. It is not a tea gathering by Margie as if it was a production or performance. It is a collaborative experience with host and guests each contributing.

In my chado training and teaching, it is not about letting everyone know about how hard or long I have been training, or how many students I have or imparting wisdom to students. I am a conduit to transmit what I learned from my sensei, try to preserve the tradition as best I can, learn about myself and continue my journey.

It is not about awards, or accolades or certification levels or reputation. I do it because I must. I cannot imagine a life without chado. Shunryu Suzuki said, "When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."

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