The tea ceremony

Essay by monchis March 2004

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Phil 106

The tea ceremony, one of the rituals in Japan brought to them by the Zen Buddhism. The tea ceremony is the art of making tea. Tea is prepared in simple rooms, with simple instruments but is hard to master the technique of making tea. The Zen Buddhists dedicate time to make the tea, it is not just boil the water and drop the tea. It is more like a ritual in making fine tea by having the patience to do it perfectly. It takes practice and patience. Every movement is highly calculated and has to be done just right. The tea has become like a ceremony since the host has to know how to put the water in the pot, put the fire in the correct place, prepare the tea leaves, decorate appropriately the room, and be as tranquil to everyone in the room. It is a time for everyone to meditate.

It was a time to detach oneself from the worldly concerns of every day life, and to live in this moment with a heart free of selfish desires. It seeks beauty in the imperfect and in the simple objects of everyday life. And it is preferred that the host of the tea ceremony made the ceremony in small rooms using plain utensils rather than using lavish rooms using expensive imported utensils. It was also a way for the monks to reach satori and to detach from the luxury and begin to live simple. There are rules to make the tea they just don't put the fire any way they want but it has to be arranged because tea has to be made with complete competence and sincerity. They can put flowers arranged with care and brought from the fields. Also they have to plan...