Japanese Tea Ceremony
You drink tea to forget the noise of the world – this is not only a well-known Asian proverb, but also part of the Japanese tea ceremony. This helps to be completely with oneself, to perceive the moment and to quiet the thoughts that are constantly circling.
A person thinks about 60,000 thoughts a day, many of which arise unconsciously or uncontrollably. So what can you do to send your mind on vacation? Drinking tea, for example. Preparing a cup of tea takes time – and that’s a good thing. After all, the regulated sequence of preparation creates something familiar, a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a ritual in which you are completely there, now, in this moment, breath by breath, sip by sip. In six hours, that should be enough.
Imperfect and Mindful
It’s about sitting together, looking into the cup, feeling the steam, feeling, tasting, smelling, the warmth that floods the body. And so much more. According to U.S. neuropsychologist Richard Davidson, who studied the brain activity of Buddhist monks and corporate employees after meditation training, this “mindfulness,” this “being in the moment,” can even help you process negative feelings better. And how nice to have a cup of tea at the same time! Of course, this does not happen by itself, in advance many details must be taken into account. Because the tea ceremony is very elaborate, every step is thought out, ritualized.
In Tea Lies Calm
With the help of a stencil and some varnish, simple furniture can be easily restyled. Take an adhesive stencil or cut your own motive from adhesive foil. Stick it on the piece of furniture and brush colored varnish over the stencil. In no time you have self-designed furniture! By the way, you can find adhesive foil in office supply or craft stores.
They say you can’t start the tea ceremony until you are completely ready. No matter how long it takes. Drinking tea and all around it are not as uncomplicated as one might imagine: Every move is precisely defined and has been performed the same way for centuries, passed down from teacher to student.
The Beginning of the Ceremony
At the beginning, guests walk along a freshly cleaned garden path to the waiting room, where the host cleans a stone basin before their eyes and fills it with fresh water.
Mouth and Hands are Washed
Afterwards he washes his mouth and hands and the guests do the same.
The Entrance to the Teahouse
As a result, everyone goes to the tea house. The entrance to the tea room is traditionally very low so that guests can enter with humility. There is no talking.
After a brief welcome by the host, a small meal or dessert is served, which is intended to stimulate the senses.
Then the host silently prepares the matcha tea. To do this, he first carefully and thoughtfully cleans all utensils with a silk cloth.
Finally, using a tea bamboo spoon, the host just as slowly adds matcha tea to the tea bowl and pours hot water over the powder.
Drinking the Tea
Now the tea bowl is handed to the main guest, all pairs of eyes rest on him. He takes three small sips and passes the bowl on. In turn, one guest after the other drinks from the bowl until it is empty.
All are Equal – When Drinking Tea
Last but not least, passing the bowl conveys a sense of community, and this can become very intense. Because the entire course of the tea ceremony for five guests can take as long as four to six hours. It is about the elimination of differences between people and the unification.
For the formally correct execution of a “tea ceremony” one must train for years. If the invitation goes beyond that and the spirit of the ceremony is also to be conveyed, it takes even decades. But that doesn’t matter, after all, you can drink tea for it – and send 60,000 thoughts fleeing.