I took two-hour workshop of “Japanese tea procedures and etiquette” at Urasenke Chanoyu Center. This is the first time for my life to learn formal Japanese tea manners such as bowing and standing, opening and closing sliding doors, entering the tea room, folding a silk wiping cloth, purifying a container for thin tea, partaking of dry sweets and thin tea.
First of all, the center has prepared beautiful tatami rooms and small Japanese garden – completely detached from chaos of Manhattan – impressive and peaceful (except a bit chilly).
I didn’t realize how precise of each movement – very disciplined - it is extreme in the sense, but appreciate its delicacy and subtlety at the same time.
Here are something I leaned:
The keystones of Chado (the way of tea) ideals are expressed in four words, wa, kei, sei and jaku.
Wa means harmony; the harmony that should exist in human relations, between humans and nature, in the selection of the tea utensils and the manners in which they are used, and all other facets of Chado.
Kei means respect. Respect is paid to all things and comes from sincere feelings of gratitude for their being.
Sei means purity, and implies both worldly and spiritual cleanliness.
Lastly, Jaku means tranquility – a state of spiritual peace.
Urasenke Chanoyu Center
153 East 69th Street