Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sharing Tea on a Beautiful Day

Last Sunday we offered a demonstration of Cha-no-yu on Eureka's Old Town Gazebo. What a glorious day it was! For several weeks we had been deluged with rain storm after rain storm, but the sun shone brightly on the weekend of our demonstration. There were even a few cherry blossoms left on the trees for us to enjoy.

Some blossoms remained on the Eureka Gazebo

Preparations for Chabako temae --
a tea ceremony to be enjoyed outdoors

Harvey-sensei performs Chabako temae for
Holly (center) and several guests; Pia is assisting Harvey.
Laura (not pictured) also assisted and took photos.

Harvey-sensei serves tea

Barry and Louisa Evans of the Arcata Zen Group joined us

Holly serves tea while Harvey answers questions

Several members of members of the Arcata Zen Group joined us and presented an information table. A gentleman is growing tea plants in his Eureka garden and wanted to learn more about tea culture and cultivation. Another gentleman who had just toured the visiting Lady Washington tallship bought a brick of tea on board, and brought it to show us and other guests. It looked just like this:
Our gratitude is never-ending for the assistance of Laura and Pia and all of "Team Horai," who are vital to our mission and instrumental to our presentations. We also extend a special "thank you!" to Charlotte MacDonald of the Eureka Main Street organization for her assistance with organizing our demonstration. And most of all, we thank our warm and friendly guests, both old friends and new. Everyone who attended has our gratitude for making our demonstrations possible and creating connections by the sharing of tea.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Buddhist Relics World Tour

Hiroshima, Japan. Los Angeles. Even little towns in rural northern California like Arcata. Sacred relics of Buddhism are on the road and coming to a town near you.

The Maitreya Project Relic Tour brings holy relics of the Buddha (the Buddha?) and Buddhist masters to cities worldwide in order to share loving kindness:
A unique and precious collection of more than 1,000 sacred Buddhist relics will be permanently displayed in the Heart Shrine of the completed Maitreya Buddha statue in Kushinagar. Meanwhile, it is the wish of the Spiritual Director of the Maitreya Project, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, that the collection should travel throughout the world to bring the blessings of the relics and the message of loving-kindness to people everywhere.

The relics will be in Arcata, Calif., April 27-29, 2012, at the Veteran's Memorial Building 1425 J Street. Opening ceremony is Friday from 6-8 p.m. Blessings will be offered all day and admission is free.

Buddhist holy relics may stop in your town! Visit and click on "Relic Tour" for more information.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Colorful Realm" on exhibit at the National Gallery of Art

Seeing news of this exhibit on PBS's Newshour last night left me speechless.

Silk painting by Ito Jakuchu,
Celebrating the centennial of Japan's gift of cherry trees to the nation's capital, this exhibition features one of Japan's most renowned cultural treasures, the 30-scroll set of bird-and-flower paintings by Itō Jakuchū. Titled Colorful Realm of Living Beings (J. Dōshoku sai-e; c. 1757–1766), these extraordinary scrolls are being lent to the National Gallery of Art by the Imperial Household. Their exhibition here—for one month only—provides a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: not only is it the first time all 30 paintings will be on view in the United States, but it is also the first time any of the works will be seen here after their six-year-long restoration.
The collection of paintings — animals, flowers, insects, together with a Shakyamuni tryptich — represents the Buddha teaching all creation. It reminded me of Elizbeth Coastworth book, The Cat Who Went to Heaven, wherein a painter is commissioned to create an image of the Buddha for a temple and in order to do so he paints a series of animals that were Buddha's previous incarnations. Visit the Newshour's website to see more of Jakuchu's remarkable paintings.

Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Itō Jakuchū will be on exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from March 30 through April 29, 2012.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Humboldt Ohanami

One of the best displays of sakura, cherry blossoms, in our little town is on the Old Town Gazebo here in Eureka, Calif.

Stand beneath them, crane your head upward, their soft pinkness embraced by the blue spring sky. Petals drift like snowflakes, covering the cobblestone sidewalk.

Later this month, on April 22, we will demonstrate Cha-no-yu here on the Gazebo. Look in our upcoming events for details. Perhaps there will be some cherry blossoms!