August 11, 2009

Remembering the steps

I have been practicing the Japanese tea ceremony for more than four years. From this spring however, I had been unable to attend my teacher's lesson for about four months. Doubting if I would be able to perform the basic sequence of the tea ceremony I felt a little nervous. Once I sat down to begin, my hands moved without thinking about it. Even my teacher was surprised at how fluent, maybe more than before, my movements were. I realized there that preparing tea at the tea ceremony comes not from the mind but from experience and is expressed from the heart. I realized that thinking would only create confusion, as that is something our mind is very good at. Once we start to think what the next step is or where we should place the tea tools, our mind would come up with several options and create confusion.
Tea is prepared from the heart with the guests' pleasure and enjoyment at the core of every movement. Fluent movements to please the guests' eyes and sounds of various tea tools to signal the progression of the preparation of tea.

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