Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pray for Japan VI: Tea Ceremony and Dance

Terada-san's beautiful whisking technique
It started out as a simple thought, "I wonder if I can have a charity tea ceremony at my house?"  When I got a chance to talk to Okuhara-san, the head of Showing Japan, a group of volunteer ladies who does Japanese art/culture presentation,  she needed only 15 minutes and one phone call to Tamura-sensei, the tea master, and my mere thought began to take perfect form.

 I was so impressed with how quickly things went that I got goose bumps.  Well, I always do every time I see these ladies go for a presentation anywhere.  I mean everywhere; schools, hospitals, libraries, festivals and so on.

 Now that I have the privilege of having those ladies' help, I started immediately to work on spreading the word out on this event and hoped many people would come.  On top of that I had a lot to learn, because I knew nothing about tea ceremony!!!  The reason I came up with this idea was I had tatami mats at home.  That's it.

Sacchan's homemade sweets
along with flower-shaped sugary cake from Japan

Anyways, it's true what they say in the movie.
"If you build it, they will come."

 I was so honored to have the presence of wonderful friends and their friends as guests and experienced ladies from Showing Japan as tea ceremony hosts and dancers at my house. I admit, that I must have been the one who had the most fun that day!
 The term the famous tea master Sen no Rikyu used in tea ceremony is “Ichigo ichie.” It means that we must treasure every encounter, as it can be the last time in our life time.

Ever since March 11th, I have felt this great sense of oneness and global friendship in people around me and I am so fortunate to have that, because that is something which keeps me going every day and without that, all this wouldn't have been possible.
 Despite of the huge tragedy, when we are willing to open our eyes, there is so much beauty in this world and this day was surely one of them.

 As an expat from Japan, I don't know how much time is left for me here in the US. This experience is something that I'll take home and cherish for the rest of my life. All the people who took part in this event have such open hearts. Please keep radiating your light and kindness to the people around you! Also I would like to thank my friends who brought delicious lunch and dessert for the break. You rock.

The proceeds of this event was $746 and it went to Global Giving Foundation as Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.  Huge thanks to those of you sending me checks even though you couldn't make it that day.  Thank you, again.

Pictures from the ceremony: Please find yourself
About Japanese Tea Ceremony:

 Showing Japanの機動力を垣間見、その意思決定のスピードに感激しながらこのイベントはスタートした。

 そんな訳で尊敬するShowing Japanのメンバーや友人・お客様に囲まれ、一番この日を楽しんだのは他でもなくホストである私でした。

 7割以上を様々な国籍のお客様が占めていたが、彼らは和敬清寂・一期一会の精神に触れ、日々の生活を振り返る大変良い機会を得た、と大変喜んでいらした。また参加できなかったが趣旨に賛同頂いた方々からも寄付金を頂き、お陰で746ドルをGlobal Giving Foundation に寄せることができた。この寄付金は被災地で活動するNGOの資金として即役立っています(www.globalgiving.org/japan-updates)。多くの方々の温かい心とお力添えのお陰です。この場をお借りいたしまして心より御礼申し上げます。 

The left is the speaker, Yuko-san. 
So much to learn from her. 

Traditional dance "Sakura Sakura" Okuhara-san (left) and Inao-san (right)