Friday, March 15, 2013


The wind of Mount Fuji 
I've brought on my fan 
A gift from Edo 

— Bashō 

A breath, a breeze. That's how brief it seemed as we presented an introductory course on "Chado: The Japanese Way of Tea" through Humboldt State University's OLLI program.

There is so much to learn about the Way of Tea that it seems impossible to even contemplate such a course, but our intrepid class seemed to enjoy the presentations — from the first aisatsu to the influence of Zen. Each of three two-hour class meetings incorporated a slide show and discussion of history, philosophy and aesthetics followed by a presentation of usucha, or the thin tea ceremony.

Harvey discusses wabi as part of the the philosophy
of Chado. Wabi is always a topic of particular interest,
but is a such a difficult concept to explain!

Awesome hanto prepared many bowls of tea in the mizuya.

A makeshift tokonoma with a Valentine's Day theme.

Laura and Harvey present usucha, the thin tea ceremony

So many books to read!

Laura and Pia in a four-and-a-half mat "room"

Laura and Pia in a four-and-a-half mat "room"

Holly makes tea for Laura and Pia

Pia prepares to make tea for some of the students

Laura, Pia and Holly (Ann, not pictured, was a
hard worker behind the scenes.)

Of the many joys of Chado is the sharing of poetry and art. Several students read haiku in class, and two students were inspired to bring hand-made cards with the haiku featured in this post. Another shared a reading from a book on shodo and ink painting. Before and after class we discussed travel, gardening, pottery … as we should at any tea gathering.

So many memories
flood my mind —
cherry blossoms 

— Bashō

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