On Monday May 11, Soshimsa abbot the Venerable Myong-Ahn Sunim offered the Korean tea ceremony workshop at the Soshimsa Zen Center in Plainfield, NJ.
In a light yet serious atmosphere, accompanied by soothing Korean flute music, attendees had the opportunity to, first, view a demonstration of the ceremony with commentary by V. Myong-Ahn Sunim.
Then, using their own (SZC provided) utensils, attendees attempted to reproduce the graceful ordered motions pf preparing and pouring in a “dry run” before actually making tea. A helpful “cheat sheet” was provided as an additional guide.
Throughout the seminar, education was given on many aspects of tea preparation; history, fable, water sources, heating of water, utensil type, grip, pouring technique, and timing of movements were some.
Then, body and spirit were united as each attendee added purified water to cha (second flush green tea, hand-harvested from the slopes of volcanic Jeju Island off the coast of South Korea). Pale, jade-green liquid appeared in the cups, the aroma filled the air, and instruction was provided on appreciation through eye, nose and mouth sense consciousnesses.
Finally, a challenge in the form of a question, to be answered at some time in the future, was directed to the audience.