“Cultivation is unlimited”
It’s fitting that this scroll came at the end of the year. With everything that’s happened, one may feel like things are stagnating or even regressing. This is not the case as everything is constantly changing. It can feel chaotic but this means that there is always an opportunity to cultivate yourself and also the environment around you. The process of cultivation takes constant work and life is resilient even in the harshest conditions. Whether it’s planting seeds so that something will be harvested in the future or pruning and maintaining what is already there, cultivation is unlimited.
As another semester comes to an end, I look back and appreciate how much I’ve grown. Not just in the past two years since I arrived at Japan House and started learning tea ceremony, but as a whole person. (Japan House is quite the fertile environment for cultivating growth!) Even though the future is uncertain, I feel comforted that cultivation is unlimited and the potential to grow is always there even if it doesn’t necessarily grow in the way one envisions. In the past, I’ve sometimes felt stagnant or stuck on things, which frustrated me because I couldn’t force myself to grow exactly as I planned. Letting go gave me the ability to breath and I no longer felt trapped because I realized that all this time, I had more room to grow. Like a flower blossoming, I stretched out my roots and leaves and explored, which has been fruitful as I feel my kokoro has greatly expanded as a result and continues to grow.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association