Practicing the delay in action by Goedele Wellens
Practicing the delay in action
On one of the first beautiful Saturdays in spring, we are invited to join a Japanese tea ceremony. We do not have to travel to Japan but are invited by tea master Michel Decré in Eindhoven. He will give us an impression of what is involved in a tea ceremony, without the long sitting in the seiza position. In a traditional ceremony, it can take up to three hours before finishing a ceremony and it is difficult for our stiff muscles to keep this up.
During this short ceremony, we experience the importance of the rituals involved in drinking tea together. The peace of the Japanese garden, the welcome by pouring water on the stones and pebbles and the calmness that Michel radiates also makes us calm, but also wondering. We crawl into the teahouse through a low, small door. We sit down on the tatami mat and wait for what is to come. You don't know whether you are doing the right thing and we are always waiting for instructions as to what actions we should be taking. The small room is divided into areas by the tatami mats, the ceiling is quite low, and the room is almost empty. Apart from the 'altar' with a calligraphy in Japanese characters and a vase with flowers which forms the biggest contrast with the rest of the room, the room radiates tranquility. During the preparation of the tea, it is quiet, apart from the sounds of the bamboo cup with which the water is poured from the kettle into the bowl and the beating of the matcha tea. Everything radiates peace and harmony, with your senses focusing on what is happening at that moment, the sounds, the smells, the picking up of the tea bowl and the tasting of the tea in combination with the sweetness. The ceremony proved to be a beautiful and rich source of inspiration for our project Space for Slowing Down.
- cover photo
©Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum,
"Kōka" teahouse in the garden of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, https://www.instagram.com/p/CZi1lN7Leus/
Film of "Kōka" teahouse ©Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum