Japanese Tea Ceremony

“What is ‘the way of tea’ or ‘tea ceremony’? ” When I was asked from foreign people, I’d always answer with a word “ART”. I originated it myself from my 15years experience of tea ceremony lesson. There are many ways to express the spirit of the way of tea, but I think the most important essence could be expressed by three words. I mean, ART is an abbreviation of three words, Appreciation, Respect others, Treasure the moment. When a tea bowl is presented in front of you, you’re supposed to take the bowl on your left palm and raise it slightly and bow at the same time. It shows your “Appreciation” toward everything surrounds you. Then, you turn the bowl clockwise twice to avoid drinking from the front of the bowl. It shows your respect toward the tea bowl and the host. Furthermore when having tea before someone, you’re supposed to bow to the person. It also means “Respect others”. The last part is the most important spirit and I think it is also connected with Zen spirit. During the tea ceremony, just focus on the present and enjoy the moment; that leads to “Treasure the moment”. What a wonderful culture! I believe this spirit of “ART” or the way of tea could lead to realize the peaceful world and people’s true happiness.