Tea and Zen Introduction

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The ritual preparation of tea is also a hoben, a skilled practice used as an aid to spiritual enlightenment.

A tea whisk called a "chasen" in Japanese. It is made from a piece of bamboo about 3/4 of an inch in diameter and about 5 inches tall. The top 60% of the bamboo has been split into 100 small tines. Alternate tines are bent outward and inward. The outward tines form a circle with the tops of the tines bent inward. The inward tines are bent toward the center of the circle and twisted at the top.There is a black string around the area where the tines split off from the bamboo handle. It looks a little like a shaving brush and is used to whip powdered tea to a froth.

Chasen - Tea Whisk

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Lecture Notes

The Rinzai Zen conviction that enlightenment can be attained in the course of performing everyday acts has been inextricably intertwined with the practice of tea ritual for centuries. . Following the "way of Tea" involves much more than learning to prepare powdered tea according to the traditions of the Japanese tea schools. It becomes a way of life.