Tea Ceremony

HARMONY / RESPECT / PURITY / TRANQUILITY


Chado ( The way of Tea) is a Japanese ritual and practice involving the preparation of Matcha, primarily influenced by the Zen Buddhism and it is based on 4 principles: Harmony, Respect, Purity and Tranquility ( Wa, Kei, Sei and Jaku).
tea
Wa
orharmony” embodies the Chinese Taoist concept of harmony between persons and between humans and nature. The extreme politeness found in the Japanese value of sunao or "sincere, humble compliance", ideally expressed by the Zen philosophy as “nothingness” indicates an empty selflessness, free from desire to impress or compete, and enabling a merging and transcending of individual egos and roles.
Kei
or "respect" reflects the Confucian ordering of society overlaid on the harmony, although all are equal in the tearoom. It is characterized by sincere reverence, care, and restraint extended to each participant, to the artists represented and their work, and to nature.
Sei
or “purity”, so valued in Shinto and Japanese culture in general, is both actual and ceremonial purity of the setting and utensils but, most importantly, purity of heart. The latter is reflected in the "mirror position" of the water ladle, which mirrors the heart rather than the face, to bring awareness to preparing the tea with a pure heart.
Jaku
or "tranquility", the fourth principle, is not really a goal for which to strive but a natural result of following the first three principles, which can also be translated as “Enlightenment”. Enlightenment is said to inspire a profound personality change with great wisdom and compassion for all. Enlightenment may differ in quality and duration, be experienced more than once, and is the beginning rather than the end of spiritual training. Wholeness, health, and holiness accompany it, three words coming from the same root word, are currently being emphasized also in health psychology and transpersonal psychology.
Experiencing the four principles in the mundane act of preparing and drinking tea can generalize to all that one does. Through the art and spiritual discipline of Chado, one attempts to immerse themselves in a series of movements of serving tea, learning to appreciate each moment and carefully finishing what they are doing instead of hurrying on. The ultimate aim of Chado is the attainment of deep spiritual satisfaction through the drinking of tea and through silent contemplation. Lastly, we would like to introduce another important principle of the Japanese Tea Ceremony that we find useful for our lives: Appreciation. We can’t get the most out of who we are and what we have if we forget to slow down and take a moment to appreciate it all.
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