I hope all of you are copying with the current situation with the positive and tea mind.
We have never experienced something like this and many people are swayed by others’ opinions. Yes, it is important to follow the advices and directions to make sure you are alright and also for others’ welfare. And now is the time all of you collect yourself, and try to apply what you have learned from the tea ceremony. Remember we talk about “Sakushu, Zuisho” -Be your own master, wherever you are” , “Heijyoshin-an ordinary and unwavering, calm kokoro.” and ikasu-enliven, make the best out of it: I am sure all of you including me, we have lots of unfinished business, projects, homework, cleaning, etc. Now is the best time each of us engages in whatever and to be constructed, even one thing at a time.
I would like to make sure we can all work together to cope with this situation, and move on. Anyone who does not have a chance to talk with any of friends, and associates even once a day, please contact me via FaceTime, Skype r Line. I will be happy to chat with you! If anyone has a great idea for us to be connected, please share with all of us.
By saying, I am going to throw one idea here:
Please look around you, and come up with a special tea implements using what you have around you. Start with a tea bowl, and natsume (tea container), then, a tea spoon, chakin (cloth-5 and 3/4 inches and 11 and 3/4 inches) and fukusa (10 and 3/4 inch square), a chasen, which might be hard to find a replacement, but try and see. If not I will be happy to distribute old chasen to you. When you gather all of them, even almost all of them, send the picture of the set to me. Perhaps, we can practice tea with what you gathered. Instead of complaining of not having things to do, think what you can do with what you have. This will be a new idea chadogu( tea equipment) contest for all of you. Please participate in and come up with a super idea! I look forward to seeing your new collection.
Please be positive and take a good care of yourself!
Below is the picture sent by one of my Japanese friends showing cherry blossoms are blooming beautifully just as the same way as they bloom every year in spite of what is happening in the world right now.
President of Urbana-Champaign Urasenke Tankokai Association
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.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association