It is not the proceedings, but the significance of each, which makes the tea ceremony special. We were later explained, each tea spoon has a unique name given and embossed on it, and for instance, it could be named after an autumn flower. The spoon is put on display, to start a discussion on how beautiful the spoon is, its name and then lead it to admire whatever the name denotes, in this example, the autumn season. The banner in the room also serves the same purpose, to start a discussion admiring the obvious and often ignored beauty around us.
In the second part, the fun part, of the tea ceremony, you are taught to make your own green tea. This green tea looks and tastes way different from the green tea bags that we use for daily consumption. Part of this process, is also to learn how to drink tea. The cup is to be turned clockwise twice, to ensure the lip does not touch the part where the cup has a beautiful design made. The larger significance of which, we were told, is to always let others admire the beauty and not hide it inwards. The ceremony also includes tasting a piece of sweet to be had with the tea.
In our last part of the tea ceremony which includes questions, we learn that only a small fraction of the Japanese population still invests time learning and then practicing the art of mindfulness through its tea ceremony. The lady educating us quoted that to be at three percent.
If not theory, but practical is your way of learning life, make sure you experience the tea ceremony when in Japan. What you missed grasping from the Japanese monk’s scriptures, the Japanese lady’s sweet smile will instill in your heart and in your mind.
(( Most images have been sourced from En's website www.teaceremonyen.com))
A sneak-peek into Japan’s tea ceremony -is the sixth part of my new travel series on Japan- documenting the food, people, nature, beauty and culture in the land of the rising sun.
Disclaimer: I often hear how people are inspired by various travel blogs and wish to pack their bags and go travel. If any of my blogs does the same to you, I request you to read up on what I think about travel and how to afford it responsibly, here is the link https://tinyurl.com/yd5aa62y