Saturday, January 1, 2011
The Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese Tea Ceremony, also called Chado or the “Way of Tea,” is a solemn and deliberate Japanese cultural activity that while highly ceremonial in nature, neither implies nor evokes anything beyond itself. Traced to Zen Buddhist monks of the ninth century (though it may have earlier origins) to formal tea-tasting gatherings, the ceremony focuses around the preparation and presentation of matcha, a powdered green tea, the art of its performance the primary objective. Perfected and popularized by Sen no Rikyu in the sixteenth century, the traditional tea ceremony has been deeply related to Zen Buddhism, and contains many aspects that teach a Zen way of life including the attainment of selflessness and a calm state of mind. The symbolism of the ceremony is intended to inspire both the preparer and the observer to look to the ordinary not as a manifestation of a divine principle, but as the divine itself. Read more . . .