The first thing I learned about Japanese tea ceremony was the principal of “one moment, one time”. Every ceremony occurs on at a unique time, on a unique day, with unique participants, weather, sensations, and circumstances. It was this principal that drew me into the red sunset during my first tea ceremony atop a mountain in northern California. That one moment and time would serve as my inspiration to study and learn more about this ancient Japanese practice.
On the surface, there are specific rules and a set order. These things took me some time to learn and be comfortable with. Sitting in the traditional seiza position with my knees folded under me also took some time to get used to. However, in learning and practice, I gradually understood the concept of gratitude that is fundamental in the ceremony. The host is grateful for the guests taking their time to join the ceremony, and the guests are grateful for all of the time and effort the host has put into the ceremony as well. More than anything, I was always grateful for the moment and time I was able to spend with everyone on that tatami floor.
We offer some programs that allow you to drink tea in a historic Zen temple. The temple itself was designed specifically for tea ceremony, so this is a great place to learn about this traditional Japanese practice. This program can be enjoyed by anyone, but I think you will enjoy it even more if you study in advance. Whether it is your first moment or your hundredth moment, I am sure you will have a very special, unique experience.