The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way
More than a millennium ago, monks brought tea from China to Japan. Tea was a medicine, an aid for meditation, and much more. Zen Buddhism influences much of the philosophy behind traditional tea ceremonies.
The originators of the Japanese tea ceremony believed that the simple activity of sharing tea with a friend was like the path of a falling cherry blossom. It is a fleeting encounter on a path that can never be exactly repeated. Though the preparing and serving of tea usually follow ritualized movements, each tea gathering is unique. The ancient Japanese tea masters passed down the phrase ichigo ichie (一期一会). Translations include “one time, one meeting”; “a singular moment, a singular meeting”; and “once-in-a-lifetime encounter.” The message reminds us to be grateful and mindfully appreciate our surroundings.
Find happiness by living fully in the present with ichigo ichie – the Japanese art of making the most of every moment.
Every moment in our life happens only once, and if we let it slip away, we lose it forever. Often spoken in Japan when greeting someone or saying goodbye, to convey that the encounter is unique and special, it is a tenet of Zen Buddhism and is attributed to a sixteenth-century master of the Japanese tea ceremony, or “ceremony of attention,” whose intricate rituals compel us to focus on the present moment.
From this age-old concept comes a new kind of mindfulness. When preparing and drinking your tea, try:
• quietly appreciate the beauty of the moment, just the way it is, • use all five senses to anchor yourself in the present, helping you to let go of fear, sadness, anger, and other negative emotions fueled by fixating on the past or the future; • to be alert to the magic of coincidences, which help us find meaning among the disconnected events of our lives; • use ichigo ichie to help you discover your ikigai, or life’s purpose–because it’s only by learning to be present, to be tuned into what catches your attention and excites you in the moment, that you can identify what it is that most motivates you and brings you happiness.
Includes: 1 tea pot, 3 tea cups, 1 strainer with a travel pouch