Feb 20, 2010

a brief introduction to Chado

the Way of Tea and the Japanese Tea Ceremony

1 Introduction
Chado – the way of tea is a tradition that represents Japan in its deepest spiritual and cultural values. Tea and Zen are one – or so it is said in the poster for this presentation. But then, what is Zen? I do not have an answer for that. So, while I was entertaining these kind of thoughts, the question that came to me was: : “why and what am I doing here tonight?”
The answer that I have accepted for you is this: Chado is a way of life. For me it is a way of life. A way of life that embraces an aesthetic exercise, a Zen discipline, a unique way of social interaction, a never ending road to perfection through the in depth understanding of the beauty of imperfection.

Out of the number of people present here tonight, some will go back home saying “how silly, I wasted my time” – these people have been now liberated from a doubt that was lingering in their mind – they came here tonight to clarify their doubt and they did.

Some will go home thinking that it was a good add on to their general culture, perhaps a good subject of conversation and nothing more than that. They did not loose anything coming as well, they rather gained some humble insight.
Some will perhaps say, “interesting, this is maybe what I was looking for, I should give it a try”. They will do that and some of them will quit quickly not feeling comfortable with the degree of dedication required.

But there may be one person that will come to practice not knowing exactly why, and not asking too many questions why, and then practice and practice and slowly start to understand the values and secret meanings of this tradition. That person may one day carry forward in the future the tradition of tea and there is not enough that I could do to help that person pursue Chado.
2 Brief History
Tea came in Japan from China around the 8th century.
Lu-Yu is respected as the Sage of Tea for his contribution to Chinese tea culture. He is best known for his monumental book The Classics of Tea the first definitive work on cultivating, making and drinking tea. It is at this time that we start to have records about growing and using this plant.