Chado…The Way of Tea
Japanese Chanoyu or Sado (Chado) is translated as The Way of Tea. It’s not just about drinking tea. The Way of Tea is a traditional composite art regarding the tea ceremony including the philosophy, mode of behavior, and materialistic elements. The Way of Tea has had huge influences on Japanese cultures. (from Tales of Japanese Tea)
Tea. It is something that I enjoy immensely. When I travel, I always look for tea shops in the cities I visit. I love finding new teas, new flavors, new experiences. I love learning new things from the shop owners. For me, shopping for tea is a spiritual practice.
So too is making tea. I have my favorite cups and tea pots. I love the whole ritual, the whole experience of making tea: picking out the tea, heating the water, pouring the water over the tea, steeping it and taking in the aroma, and finally, taking that first taste. That first taste is always magical and takes me to some other place, a tea space. I have teas for different times of the day and different moods. There are teas I tend to drink in the morning, and teas I drink late at night. There are teas for when I read or listen to music.
Tea. It's so simple, yet so complex at the same time. It's also what I make it.
And I find my music the same. There is a similar approach in how I take care when I set up and prepare my instruments. I really prefer to set up in silence, focusing my attention at the task at hand. It's not that I'm being anti social, but this is my space, my time, and it helps me get into the music space. I like to say hello to each instrument as I unpack them and place them on their rack or stand. They are sacred vessels of sound and each one means something to me. They all have stories behind them—history and lineage.
Then there's the anticipation from all this, and, that first sound. That first sound is magical and transports me to another realm. And it's much the same when tearing things down and packing up. I like to be in the moment, paying attention to everything. The whole process—set up, performing, tear down—is a mediation, a spiritual practice for me.
How do you approach your art?