「耕不尽」tagayasedomo tsukizu -耕せども尽きず " Cultivation is unlimited. "
This statement is often used in Zen teaching as well as in chado practice. The first character, 耕 means, “tilling, plowing or cultivating,” and the last two characters, 不尽, means, “no end, endless and unlimited.” Thus, this statement is translated as, “Cultivation is unlimited.” The more famers plough and fertilize their fields, the more crops they harvest. In the same way, the more we study and cultivate, the wider and richer our fields of kokoro (心田) become. It teaches us that endless cultivation is possible in the Zen training, chado practice or in any other training. One of the hundred didactic poems written by Sen Rikyu states:
“Practice starts from one, becoming cognizant of ten, then returning from ten to one, the beginning.”
I do hope you will take what you have learned from our tea classes this semester and deepen your understanding of the spirit of tea and continue to cultivate your kokoro more.
―KOKORO from Kimiko Gunji May 7, 2020
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association