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Mar 13, 2019

Practicing, what else! This time with Japanese friends

By the end of February, when young wild flowers manage to escape the frozen embrace of the still sleeping earth and dare showing their delicate and frail buds through the icy surface of the remains of snow patches, along old wooden fences, Tankokai Romania Luminis had the honour and pleasure  of hosting a simple tea offering at the Reikōan (summit, radiant, hermitage) - the tea room (chashitsū) recently built at the National Museum of Art of Romania.

The guests: His Excellency, the Ambassador of Japan in Romania, Mr. Hitoshi Noda together with his wife, Mrs. Noda and a group from the embassy staff.

We offered okashi and a cup of tea, which we hope was enjoyed by our guests.
After this our guests and our students participated together in a pleasant and provoking exercise: Kazucha no Shiki.
Developing attention and concentration, this exercise also created a pleasant atmosphere of shared learning and laughing (when learning was not so easy) as a united community of tea people.
Later on, we moved to our headquarters and decided to practice Mukogiri usucha and koicha. We do not have the correct setup of our RO but, improvisation is the mother of invention!

Here are some photos from the sessions. A very useful and pleasant time spent together.
We thank our guests and students and hope to see them together practicing. Practicing, what else!

Offering a cup of tea to Mrs. Noda and the embassy staff.

Kazucha no shiki

Kazucha no shiki

A smile to balance focusing and a bit of exhaustion

And back to work


The game comes to its end.

Mukogiri - students find it not 'that difficult'. This is what practice does!



Nov 28, 2018

Book launching completed! It spins now among other quiet satellites changing our way of being

Mission accomplished!
Not easy to manage such an event I can tell you! Ownership - a feature which became a line and a rule of thumb in the doctrine for clever management in most of the western world, has subtle deformations when it comes to the streets of the Paris of the East.

But in the end there was an overfilled room, a charming public, freshly fed with bits and nibs of super salty Korean junk passing for Japanese junk, wine provided by the friendly staff of Carturesti Verona and of course fresh high quality matcha and sweets provided by another friendly staff - the young and timid ladies from Urasenke Tankokai Romania - Luminis, dressed in beautiful kimonos and trying to act as hostesses accommodating the public which now was trying to find a comfortable position on the crammed chairs and pillows, readying themselves to grasp the meaning of Chanoyū - something which I knew it won't come easy to them.

The Partitas of Bach quietly playing in the background, accompanied by the dream like murmuring of Glenn Gould, dimmed lights, incense burning - all was set for the book launching to begin. And it did!

I asked the panel and the moderator before hand: "please, this is about tea, the book tries to be a humble servant of this magic ritual the meaning of which we try to dream about this evening! please focus on this!"
But from the goodness of their heart, things turned out a bit differently. The cult of personality seems a better entry door to the soul of the audience. And here I was, the "hero" of the evening, trying to change seats and refocus everyone on the real hero:  Chanoyū  - the ritual of preparing and serving tea to your fellow man.
During the long nights of December, snowflakes left outside in the cold of the night, reading the book on a comfortable sofa late after work, sipping perhaps a porto, maybe in a train going nowhere, maybe alone in a mall waiting for the others to finish the shopping, the reader will discover  the meaning of some of the ideas which during the discussions about the book came across quite different from the day to day way of perceiving things and of perceiving ourselves.

Meeting Chanoyū is a challenge. I could see this clearly in the curious eyes of the warm people in the audience.
A brief demonstration of what a chakai is all about and here we were - introducing the book to the audience. Quickly the ice melted, people got involved and daring. Nothing could have been better than that.
The books left me and went away with their new owners. With some of them they will become friends. I do hope so.  Thanks to the publishing house Paideia and to the event hosts - Carturesti - Verona, we made another small step in bringing awareness to a powerful culture about another powerful culture. I hope the reader will discover how many incredible things are common to both.

The Book 

The Venue - Carturesti Bookshop


Friend and Personality Andrei Oisteanu talks about the fortunate ones


Matei Georgescu and here Camelia Botezatu - director of the Paideia Publishing House kindly introduce the book to the public


Here left alone to handle the rest



Which we did - helped by my colleagues we offer a cup of tea



And now it is up to the public and myself to travel together on the Way of Tea


And it takes convincing

And more convincing


And the connection is made - the bridge connects now the two worlds



And all ends well when it ends well - Book signing






Oct 27, 2018

Ceremonia japoneză a ceaiului într-o adevarată colibă a ceaiului la Muzeul National de Artă al Romaniei

Demonstrații de ceremonia ceaiului într-o adevarată colibă de ceai la 

MNAR, Muzeul Național de Artă a României


În cadrul lunii noiembrie, luna culturii japoneze, asociația Urasenke Tankokai Romania - Luminiș în colaborare cu Muzeul Național de Artă și Ambasada Japoniei în Romania,  va oferi două demonstrații publicului curios să observe și să înțeleagă această tradiție unică.

Demonstrațiile vor avea loc în noul Chashitsu (coliba de lut și paie în care se oficiază ritualul împărtășirii unui bol de ceai), construit de curând în cadrul muzeului de către specialiștii japonezi.

Demonstrațiile vor avea loc duminică, 18 noiembrie, la orele 11:30 și 14:30. Numărul maxim de persoane pentru fiecare demonstrație este de 14 persoane.

Intrarea este gratis. Persoanele care doresc să și deguste un bol de ceai verde pudră (matcha) împreună cu o prăjitură (okashi), o vor putea face contra cost.

Rezervarea de locuri se poate efectua la:
telefonul: 0734 681 675

Publicul vizitator este rugat să fie prezent la muzeu cu 30 de minute înaintea începerii demonstrațiilor, respectiv la orele 11:00 și 14:00.
Pentru motive de securitate, publicul va fi însoțit pînă la sala demonstrației de către personalul de securitate al muzeului.

Sperăm să fie un moment interesant și instructiv pentru dumneavoastră.

The Way of Tea

Oct 26, 2018

Chanoyū la Cărturești - Verona! Lansare de carte!

I needed two helping hands to be able to bring to the Romanian public a book which is different from the rest (just like all the books!) They were generously offered by PAIDEIA publishing house and Cărturești Verona bookstore. 
Thanks to them,

Wednesday, November 14th at 18:30
at Cărturești Verona, Strada Pictor Arthur Verona 13-15, București, 
the book "Chanoyū - the Japanese Tea Ceremony" will be presented to the public.

You are welcome to join the author and friends in a book launching event!!!!!

Chanoyū - ceremonia japoneză a ceaiului (o călătorie în lumea imposibilului) is a book which saw the print only when I awakened to the fact that the deep secret behind this tradition remains forever a secret for the non-practitioner and that it cannot be revealed to the public by just sprinkling words on a piece of paper.

I wanted to go with the readers into a journey through various doors pretending themselves to open to the Way of Tea and see why this is so. Why beauty and pleasure and craft and skill do not add to much without a serious spiritual readiness. To see why the Secret will remain a Secret for most of us.

The Book
Vor vorbi:
GABRIEL 宗賀 CĂCIULĂ - autor 
MIO SEKIYA, atașat cultural al ambasadei Japoniei 
CAMELIA BOTEZATU – director editura Paideia 
MATEI GEORGESCU – professor universitar, universitatea Spiru Haret 
ANDREI OIȘTEANU – institutul de istorie a religiilor 

Discuțiile vor fi precedate de o demonstrație de Chanoyū -->
Cartea va fi disponibilă în librăriile Cărturești și online pe site-urile carturesti.ro și paideia.ro
începând cu data de 14.11.2018



Oct 15, 2018

Musée Guimet - Paris, a message of Peace to commemorate 100 years from WWI


The colloquium “Zen and the Arts – Practique, Tea, Painting and Poetry” was part of the Museum’s decision to celebrate with a hymn to Peace, the passing of one hundred years from a terrible mistake of the mankind – the First World War (1918).

The museum invited several important personalities to speak about their life and work in the realm of “Zen and the Arts” as a way to Peace.

Urasenke Tankokai Romania-Luminiș Association was fortunate to be allowed to participate and be of some help. We are grateful to the organisers for this opportunity.

The speakers focused indeed on the amazing and many times surprising association of these categories "Practique, Tea, Painting and Poetry", which intertwine to create a world apart a world governed by the human spirit and the principles of Zen.

At the end of the colloquium tea was served to the audience in the spectacular simplicity, minimalism and quietness of the Museum's chashitsu.

The speakers talked about so many subjects, all related to Zen. But in the end, they talked about the same thing: about their life, about the values of life, the importance of cultivating aesthetic values, the importance of respect, of compassion, of paying attention to every little detail, of doing everything with love. This is the way of Zen. And this is a way through which Peace can be manifested.

If this is true, if Zen is indeed a way to Peace, then the museum had a divine inspiration organising this colloquium. A cup of Tea is indeed a cup for Peace.

Group photo in front of the Musee Guimet Chashitsu

Kobori Geppo Osho - signing into the book of honoured visitors

Team building