April is the Month for Tea

Sunday April 1

Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Lavender Tea House
Sherwood, OR

Cherry Blossom Festival for the month of April.  On April 1 the Lavender Tea House will be hosting a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony by Issoan Tea.

Come celebrate the blooming cherry blossom’s like they are in Japan by joining us for a traditional Japanese Ceremony Tea. Tea & Japanese pastries provided. Sun, April 1st, 2pm, $25 Reservations required.

The Lavender Tea House
16227 SW 1st Street
Sherwood, OR 97140

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Furyu

Furyu is composed of two characters meaning, “wind” and “flowing.” Like the moving wind, it can be sensed but not seen. It is both tangible and intangible in its suggested elegance. And like the wind, furyu points to a wordless ephemeral beauty that can only be experienced in the moment, for in the next instant it will dissolve like the morning mist.

 

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Upon entering the tearoom

Upon entering the tearoom, it is important above all else
that both host and guests compose their frame of mind
so as to be completely free of extraneous thought; this attitude
should be harbored within and not displayed outwardly.
~ Murata Shuko (d. 1502)

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Telling Stories

One of the pleasures of attending a tea gathering are the stories told at the gathering.   Putting together how the meaning of the scroll and the choices of the utensils along with the poetic names of the sweets and chashaku make for an interesting time.

Some of my students are beginnning to study the kazari mono where the scroll, the teabowl, the chashaku or other utensil is featured in the temae.  In class we practice telling the stories of the utensils.  Just because you purchased the bowl cheap on eBay does not make a good story for the tea gathering.  Neither does I liked this bowl, but I know nothing about it.  There should be something about it. Be thoughtful about what utensils you are using for your tea gatherings. Continue reading

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The Hunger for Knowledge

One of the things that is a little frustrating to me is that I do not speak Japanese, nor do I read. I have a number of books in my collection about Chanoyu that are written in Japanese and I hunger to read and get the information from them. All that knowledge and I can’t get to it.

But I have not yet learned Japanese and so the frustration I am feeling is of my own making. If it was really important to me to read these books, I’d be learning Japanese and hauling out my dictionary to help me understand what is written in them.

So many times we get frustrated with life, and rail against all the things stopping us from getting what we want. When in reality, like my frustration with reading and learning more about Chanoyu, it is a frustration of my own making. I have been studying tea for 30 years and I could be very fluent in Japanese and reading and translating these texts if I had been studying the language for 30 years as well. Sensei says, “If it is really important to you, you will know what to do and how to get what you want.”

For those of you, like me, who do not speak or read Japanese, I have compiled a reading list to get you started in English. Want to know more? I suppose you could learn to speak and read Japanese.

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