Taking Time for Tea

tea ceremony


When I lived in Japan, one of my students was a rather revered master of the tea ceremony.  On one occasion, my roommate and I were invited by her to participate in one.  It is highly ritualistic and at times beautiful.  It is fascinating to see people really concentrating on something.  They’ve got laser focus and every movement seems deliberate.

Today, I got treated to a less esoteric version of this for Today’s Perfect Moment.

While I was in the company lunchroom, one of the staff, who happens to be Japanese, was making herself some matcha (green tea, but not the kind of green tea that comes from bags.) She heated up the bowl. She scooped out an amount of powdered green tea and then took out the whisk to make it all frothy.  I was watching, but she didn’t notice me watching her.  She was doing her task, more meditatively than ritualistically, though I could easily have confused the two.

I tried to take in the whole scene. I watched her movements, her body language, and her facial expressions.  They showed both concentration and anticipation.  When she was finally ready to drink, she casually rotated the bowl a few centimetres, and brought it to her lips.  Her shoulders dipped in relaxation and her grin grew slightly.  I didn’t hear a sigh of contentment, but I felt it must be there.  She was definitely experiencing and enjoying a Perfect Moment.


About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, beverages, green tea, Japan, Japanese, meditation, preparation, relaxation, tea and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Taking Time for Tea

  1. Heather Anne says:

    I love matcha and always have it as part of my morning ritual. I really appreciate the traditional tea ceremony in Japan. I lived there for a while too once upon a time and attending a tea ceremony was such a memorable occasion.

  2. Satoko says:

    Hello. You have lived in Japan! I’ve always wanted to experience Japanese tea ceremony. As I know there are some places offering it in Kyoto, so I definitely try near future!

  3. Angela says:

    I’ve never tried matcha but I’ve always found Japanese tea ceremony fascinating!

  4. Two things. Attending a tea ceremony is among my lifetime’s most vivid and lasting memories of my life in Japan. (BTW, Costco sells a bag of amazing matcha, the good stuff, for an extremely reasonable price.) One sip of matcha immediately puts me into Zen.
    On a whole other subject, nothing mars competent writing like errors, especially those most basic. In the sentence: “On one occasion, she invited my roommate and I …” No; correct is “me,” not “I.” The rule is VERY simple to learn and once you get it, you’ll never again make this much-too-common blemishing error (excerpted from this link: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/when-to-use-i-and-when-to-use-me
    “If you’re having trouble deciding which one to use in a particular sentence, here’s a hint: Take out the other person, and it should be clearer. You are not likely to be tempted to say, “Me joined the chess club,” or “Jill took I to the shop.”

  5. Amy says:

    The enjoyment is beautifully expressed, Anthony!

  6. Great post. Matcha tea is my favourite!

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