Tea as Ceremony
TEA TASTING & INSIGHT MEDITATION SESSIONS
With Jonathan Reynolds & Guest Tea Experts
UPCOMING DATESThere are currently no scheduled events.
In this experience we use two distinct yet related tools: vipassana (insight) seated meditation, and the meditative and social elements of sharing tea. The intention in pairing these two practices is to help support each of us in our present moment unfolding; both meditation and tea encourage this awakening to the healing quality of presence. Insight meditation allows us to touch the still-point within and to ultimately acknowledge our interconnectedness to each other. Tea allows us to connect and merge in a way that might best be described as ‘family’, the ease one feels when arriving home after a seemingly indefinite absence. Tea’s restful ease thus allows us a deeper trust and access to those qualities that tension often obstructs – the qualities of kindness, joy, peace, and harmony. Together these practices act as a raft to transport us to the place of ‘no departure’, the reality of the present moment.
Below are some 'tea quotes' that I feel clearly express the meditative, social, and connoisseurship elements of tea's relationship to what is natural, subtle, harmonious, and profound.
"To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it's gone, it's gone."
"You suggest a feeling of coolness in summer, and coziness in winter; when you burn charcoal you see that the water boils, when you make tea you see that it tastes good. There are no secrets."
--Sen no Rikyu
"After host and guest have expressed their feelings of regret and after the final farewells have been said, the guests depart through the roji (garden). They do not call out in loud voices, but turn silently for one last look. The host, moved, watches them until they are gone from sight. It would not do for him to rush about closing the naka-kuguri, the sarudo, and the other doors, for this would make the day's entertainment meaningless. Even though it is not possible to see the guests returning to their homes, the host should not put things in order quickly. Rather, he should return quietly to the setting of the tea gathering and, crawling through the nijiguchi, seat himself before the hearth. Wishing to speak longer with his guests, he must wonder how far they have gotten on their ways home. This "one time, one meeting" has come to an end, and the host reflects upon the fact that it can never be repeated. The highest point of a tea meeting is, in fact, to have a cup of tea alone at this time. All is quiet, and the host can talk to no one but the kettle. This is a state in which nothing else exists, a state that cannot be known unless one has attained it oneself."
--from Chanoyu Ichie Shu by Ii Naosuke
PHOTOS OF TEA CULTURE
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GOOD TEA, GOOD COMMUNITY