和(wa) 敬 (kei) 清 (sei) 寂 (Jaku): Harmony, respect, purity, tranquility
花 (hana): flower
“I have been practicing flower arrangement for years. Flowers are blessings. In their natural beauty, I can see the stream of time and meaning of life. Flowers have power to make us happy and even heal us through their finite beauty, innocence yet strong existence. I always have flowers around me.”
This "Hana" (flower) shikishi and chabana arrangement suggests to me that friendships and people are not unlike flowers... the impact they have on those around them isn't limited by their size. And we all have friendships which are like perennial flowers, who we can depend on to grow beautifully each year without fail. These are easy to take for granted, but need to be treasured. Occasionally we have the opportunity to form special friendships, which can be like annual flowers. Such friendships require extra care and nurturing, but once they take root can blossom amazingly to be a source of great joy. We all are free to decide on the mix of flowers in our gardens.
回心 (eshin): Trun your mind around.
Although commonly translated as ”turn your mind around”; suggesting a change in one's attitude, I think it goes deeper than that as well. I think of kokoro as a jewel, constantly being polished, and I feel that eshin is a reminder to us to look at the facets of our own kokoro and recognize our own preconceptions and biases. By turning the jewel that is our kokoro around and around and examining ourselves deeply, we accept ourselves as we are without illusions while also accepting the differences between us and others. Thus, when conflicts arise, we can identify the source and smooth that edge, creating more harmonious relationships and develop gentleness within ourselves.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association