Tea and Zen Have One Taste - Practice

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Preparing tea for guests is similar to learning tea ritual.

A group of tea students stands with their teacher in the kitchen. There is one man, two Caucasian women, and one Japanese woman. They have been preparing the food for a tea gathering.

Kitchen Crew

The area where tea utensils are washed and prepared for use in a tea house. The area consists of three shelves suspended over a bamboo grate which has a drain underneath it. The shelves are made of polished wood and there is a window covered by shoji screens behind the shelves. Underneath the lowest shelf, a copper faucet is located. The area is about six feet long and three feet deep. The lowe part of the alcove is lined with wood. The upper part of the walls are made of brown clay.

Tea Preparation Area at Koto-in

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Lecture Notes

The degree of attention to detail in both is overwhelming. The practitioner must let go of his or her own desires and concentrate on creating the best possible experience for the guest. Years of training and days of planning and cooking precede every tea gathering. A standard chaji is a ritual which includes the preparation of thick and thin tea, two charcoal ceremonies, and a meal. It takes a minimum of three and a half hours.