6 enriching principles of the Japanese culture of Tea ceremony
Updated: Aug 23
While the entire world is all set to expand their horizons after remaining cooped up within the four walls for quarter of a year, a lot of us will find difficulty in donning the new normal.
Anxiety, self-doubt, loneliness will uninvitedly become friends with you and most annoyingly will not leave you until you turn SOFT on them. Adding to the woes, is an awkward feeling as you try to NAMASTE (Quick Note: The new Normal does not feature hand-shake thanks to the corona virus!) an environment which you have not seen over the months.
On this note, this article weighs on a Japanese tradition which portrays a lifestyle that is inclined on simplicity and accepting the scenario the way it unfolds in front of your eyes.
Stressing on the significance of tranquility, harmony, respect and peace of mind, the cultural activity influenced by Zen Buddhism that involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha powdered green tea.
The tradition which embarked on the 9th century has continued to remain worthful even in a materialistic era is itself a big stamp of its authenticity.
Advocating a way of life which prioritizes self-love, the Japanese tea ceremony renders a priceless contribution in the lives of ordinary individuals who find themselves helpless and cannot understand the meaning of their existence.
Without any further ado, let’s revitalize the lost energy of our lives as we take a sip of spirituality from the Japanese tea ceremony.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
Eons of age passed but every generation endorsed the culture of generosity with utmost respect. Preluded by a spiritual leader Rikyu in the 9th century who envisaged an enriching world which is free from hate and enviousness, continues to inspire millions to push them in the direction of truth.
With the purpose to remain in the present and remembering that the very moment will never come back again, this ceremony allows one to grip oneself with his/her own soul.
Considered as one of the classical arts of refinement, let us unravel the puzzle of life with Rikyu’s four principles.
"Wa, kei, Sei, Jaku"
Let’s demystify the four principles of this wonderful Japanese culture.
The first principle focuses on a person’s capacity to give the best one can and receive all the possible experiences in life. With an inherent quality to perceive the world from an open mind, it invigorates the idea of constant development in life. It believes that harmony with nature is seeing beauty in the middle of a busy day in a large city. It completely stands upright on the two pillars of mindfulness and self-awareness.
Fostering the belief of respecting oneself and then others, the second principle sheds light on admiration for every individual regardless of his or her profession. It guides first to respect one-self and then step up to do the same for the rest of the mankind. One must unconditionally communicate love and respect to others without expecting anything in return. Now what adds beauty to this practice is that if someone reciprocates the same, then the feeling is priceless.
Sei- peace of mind
The third principle reflects on an individual’s tendency to set human-oriented goals which most of the people fail to identify in their lives. Cutting down the external noise and listening to one’s calling is its ultimate motive. Concentrating on clear and decisive goals, it invokes the values of determination and the process of pursuing the objectives in life.
The fourth principle delves into inner peace and approaching life in the truest form. Appreciates the nature’s abundance, it believes in offering gratitude to all the challenges and bottlenecks in lives because these obstacles have helped in becoming the man of wisdom.
Wabi- Sabi: Rustic Beauty
In the truest sense of the term, happiness is all about navigating what your soul loves. It is rightly said that if someone rightly locates it, then he/she has achieved the true meaning of life. On this note, while wabi connotes the beauty in imperfectness and impermanence of nature. Sabi means things that are old and covered are more appealing than new things or things that stand out. Together, wabi-sabi usually refers to beauty in simplicity.
Tea ceremony is a form of meditation. During the proceedings, talking should be kept to the minimum and only at the beginning and the end. In this way one can see his-her true nature and gradually experience awakening. Even the mundane task of cleaning utensils can help one become enlightened by concentration on the task.
The Japanese culture reverberates the fine tuning of how one must lead their life. It’s essential to extract these ideals from the tea ceremony, a ritual practiced in the land of spirituality. Thus, bring these values out from oneself and feel the difference.