Sep 2, 2008

Intensive training

Twice a year, we are so very fortunate to have Christy Bartlett sensei come to Portland for Koshukai, intensive training workshops in the way of tea. We have just concluded three days going from very highest and most complicated procedures to the basic beginning procedures. As in the Rikyu poem we went from one to ten and back to the original one again in the space of a weekend.

For those of us who participated in the entire three days, sitting seiza the whole time is a challenge, but a place where training shows. Some of the procedures we only do once a year and to recall them and do them in front of sensei and everyone can be intimidating.

Christy-sensei is so knowledgeable that just listening to her teaching as others do temae, is educational. She incorporates stories of past tea masters teachings, history, aesthetics, zen phrases and information about other Japanese arts in her teaching.

I will be writing about what I learned in koshukai for the next few days in posts following this one.

It is always inspiring and humbling to attend koshukai. Inspiring because I reconnect why I follow the way of tea, and humbling because there is so much that I have yet to learn.

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