By Tanja Kinnen, FEW Special Events Director
The Way of Tea and the chance to gain deeper insights into this mysterious Japanese tradition brought 15 curious women to attend our special event on a sunny Monday afternoon. The national holiday seemed like the perfect opportunity to get to know more about the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Ruth (Sōshin) Lionberger not only presented a brief introduction on the history of the Japanese tradition of serving tea, but also shared precious life lessons behind the ceremony.
From the moment you walk through the traditional gardens to respectfully crawling through the door of a traditional tea house, every step of the ceremony has been carefully planned to separate you from the outer world and guide you into the inner; as well as take you back to a time of childhood innocence and humility, when the purest of human interactions take place. That’s the original concept of the tea ceremony, which was founded when hierarchies were even more important in Japanese society than they are today.
Indeed, every component of the ceremony is designed around the principles of zen. As the wooden door closes, we leave the outside, temporal world and enter the tea room, empty of all things to bring into focus every detail of the ceremony, from the handling of the instruments to the serving of the wagashi (sweets) and the preparation of the tea.
“There is a man who is so poor that he eats wood and wears clothes made of grass. But his heart is clear like the moon and his mind is calm and nothing disturbs him. If someone asks him, “Where do you live?” he replies, “In the green mountains by the pure water.” – T’ang Dynasty Chinese Priest
Ruth gave us a unique and unconventional opportunity to learn about tea in all its different facets through dialogue and understanding the meaning behind the ceremony. True to her goal of bringing back the origins of the tea ceremony, Ruth was not so much focused on the gestures and manners, but rather on giving us an opportunity to leave behind our busy lives and the world outside, and practice inner contemplation and the four guiding principles: Harmony, Respect, Purity, and Tranquility.
December Strategic Partner News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 1st December 2017
December Community Services Feature with Angela Ortiz, Founder of A Place To Grow
By Tia Haygood, Community Services Director “When you experience a disaster, when you lose everything that was important, your world falls apart. You lose hope. You lose purpose. You lose the capacity to recover. Those who survived the disaster now must survive the recovery.” – Angela Ortiz, Founder of A Place To Grow A Place […]Published on 1st December 2017
November Meeting Recap: Disruptive Innovation: Shifts in Technology
When Emi Takemura graduated, the internet pretty much didn’t exist, and in her first job there was only one computer, and one email address. So how have we gone from there, to the current situation of more and more powerful computers and an explosion in connectivity? That’s the question the Emi gave FEW members and […]Published on 1st December 2017
How I Got Here: Alicia Narusé
After leaving my home town of Taipei, Taiwan, to study aboard in the United States at age 10, I received an American education from middle school all the way to university. Since I was a child, I was talented in sketching and painting. I didn’t know then I would use my art skills to make […]Published on 30th November 2017
Strategic Partner Spotlight: Megumi Moss, Founder and CEO, Carefinder
I joined FEW 4 years ago, around the same time I started my company CareFinder, a bilingual babysitter matching site. CareFinder aims to support working women and families in Japan. CareFinder’s mission is similar to FEW’s. Four years ago, when I left my job to start CareFinder, I needed support as I was embarking on […]Published on 30th November 2017
Save the Date! January Monthly Meeting
Come by on Jan. 11 for the first FEW meeting of 2018! Join us for the great opportunity to learn, connect with members and guests, and be inspired. Meeting details coming soon!