The have the kokoro to enter the path is, indeed, to be your own master.
With the start of a new semester, our class is returning to the basics by going through warigeko. From relearning how to fold fukusa to how to properly clean and care for dogu, it is good to start fresh and remember that we are still new on the path of learning and must be earnest and humble. Humans are born with pure kokoro and as we grow, our kokoro are constantly changing. When it's time to enter Japan House for lessons, the first thing to do is use the tsukubai to purify oneself from the outside world. For a few hours, one's kokoro becomes one of determination in order to learn chado. Chado is a way of life, and while chado's purpose varies for people, its philosophies are carried to one's daily life whether they realize it or not. I feel this scroll is a reminder that one must put their whole kokoro into what they do in order to master it. When one becomes their own master, their kokoro changes - it is then that their world changes because they gain more mindfulness.
This week, one of the statements was "have tea." As I am entering my final semester of college, I find that this statement has more and more meaning for me every day. For the past four years, I have worked hard, spending countless days studying and worrying about many little things. Now, as I approach the end of this chapter, I realize with more clarity that it is alright to just "have tea." There are many details surrounding everything we do in life, but what really matters is what is at the core of it all. When studying tea ceremony, there are many rules and practices which must be memorized and understood, but it suffices to remember the reason that we all gather weekly: to have tea. Similarly, though there may be many tasks that I feel must be completed, and many loose-ends that need tying, I must remind myself the reasons that I am here, and I must never forget to have tea.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association