Graduation Tea Ceremony at the University of Illinois - May 13, 2018
The prospect of performing a tea ceremony after only fully practicing it on the tatami twice was utterly terrifying. I was so nervous as I started to go through the cleaning of all the equipment, I couldn't process all of what I was doing. As I kept going, I remembered one of the scrolls that was hanging, "have tea". This reminded me that the only thing I needed to accomplish in that moment was to lovingly share bowls of tea with my family. It was okay if my movements didn't perfectly match what we had practiced, as long as I put my heart into making the best bowls of tea that I could. This scroll was also special because neither of my parents had seen a tea ceremony before. I remember the first time I saw a tea ceremony, I was completely amazed just by the experience of quietly watching our host carefully and calmly prepare a bowl of tea. One of my favorite parts of tea ceremony is that it needs no embellishment to be a beautiful experience. You gain so much from the simple experience of having tea. I was very happy to share the tea ceremony with my family, and I hope they took away a similar love of sitting down and having tea.
Chado has become an essential part of my life since I began study two years ago. Struggling at the time to find my place on campus, I felt that the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Urbana-Champaign Association welcomed me with all their hearts. It is a sense of community that I will take with me and look to participate in wherever I go. It is a community built on the philosophies that guide tea.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association