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Thread: Chosan: Tea and Dharma

  1. #1
    BigDavid
    Guest

    Chosan: Tea and Dharma

    Ohaiyo gozaimasu Mina San/good morning (it's early literally) everyone.

    In the bio of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, crooked cucumber, there is mention of chosan, a Dharma talk over tea. It is mentioned that he did so with his senior students. So, my question is, is chosan done with only senior students, or can it be done with the entire Sangha? Also, does anyone have the kanji for chosan, and can explain the kanji's meaning? I think it would be great to learn and teach chado/chanoyu (tea ceremony), and share the Dharma over tea. Thanks in advance.

    Gassho
    David Somers

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by dsomers View Post
    Ohaiyo gozaimasu Mina San/good morning (it's early literally) everyone.

    In the bio of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, crooked cucumber, there is mention of chosan, a Dharma talk over tea. It is mentioned that he did so with his senior students. So, my question is, is chosan done with only senior students, or can it be done with the entire Sangha? Also, does anyone have the kanji for chosan, and can explain the kanji's meaning? I think it would be great to learn and teach chado/chanoyu (tea ceremony), and share the Dharma over tea. Thanks in advance.

    Gassho
    David Somers
    Well, I am more a coffee fellow myself.

    The Kanji are just 朝参, which means "morning gathering."

    It is just a time in monasteries, usually in the morning, for a little tea with the teacher in a small group, sometimes informal but sometimes more formal (almost like a kind of abbreviated Oryoki for tea and a sweet). There is sometimes a little talk then, or questions, but sometimes just silence. Nishijima Roshi used to invite us in to his room (you could just knock the door actually) for tea and cookies, and any questions, all very informal.

    One might say that Treeleaf Forum is an "all hours" gathering, but bring your own soft beverage.

    It seems that some Zen groups in the west do this, and seem to be rather informal or a bit more formal about it (depends). Here is a description of one at Tassajara ...

    http://theinosblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/chosan.html

    This is quite different from Japanese Chayu "Tea Ceremony." That is not actually a traditional part of Zen monastic life, although many many monks happened to be interested in the art and practiced it too. We have some members who have done so. I attend a wonderful Tea Ceremony each month at the place I volunteer for mentally challenged young adults. Some can't really sit or care about "proper" form and movement, and it is chaos ... yet the most lovely tea teacher/host tending to each guest one by one.

    Here is a short video on Tea Ceremony for those who don't know. A ballet in which one pours oneself, and finds oneself.



    You may be interest, David, in our Oryoki group which meats for formal meal Practice.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/foru...ractice-Circle

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-07-2019 at 12:14 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Hi David,

    Just FYI:
    There is also the Chinese Tea Ceremony (Gong Fu Cha) which is much easier to learn than the Japanese Chado.
    I learnt Gong Fu Cha several years ago and when practiced with the right spirit, it is another form of Zazen. I also caught interest in the Japanese tea ceremony, but you need a good teacher and there is none around in my region.
    Anyways, I like the Chinese tea ceremony a lot. Even when I invite people or friends who don't know anything about it or Zen, they always enjoy it. Many have never tried an Oolong tea (semi-fermented), so already this is a nice experience for them.

    AFAIR there must be a video where Jundo is in a Japanese Chado conducted by a Treeleaf member...

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Daitetsu View Post

    AFAIR there must be a video where Jundo is in a Japanese Chado conducted by a Treeleaf member...
    Yes there is ... our Tea Ceremony when Hoyu, our old member and a Tea Sensei, was visiting Tsukuba some years back ...



    The Chinese ceremony by contrast ...



    I do "Coffee Ceremony" each morning ... bow to brewer, place in with right hand paper filter, place in coffee, gracefully add water into machine ... bow again, push button ...

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Hi Jundo,


    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes there is ... our Tea Ceremony when Hoyu, our old member and a Tea Sensei, was visiting Tsukuba some years back ...
    Thank you so much for sharing this - I had been looking for the video, but could not find it anywhere!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    The Chinese ceremony by contrast ...
    Oh, this is very different from the one I have learnt. I know there are variants, but this is very different!
    The following video is more like the one I usually do (but still some slight differences):





    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I do "Coffee Ceremony" each morning ... bow to brewer, place in with right hand paper filter, place in coffee, gracefully add water into machine ... bow again, push button ...
    Nice! To be honest I have also been looking for ways to invent a kind of coffee ceremony for myself.
    A few weeks ago I actually found the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony!



    I imagine doing this in the morning, just before breakfast ... I wonder what my wife would think.

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  6. #6
    I did not know of this. Thank you for sharing. I have heard and seen videos of the tea ceremony and have a passion for tea. I would love to learn more if Hoyu or any other tea masters are available.

    Gassho
    David
    Sat/lah

  7. #7
    Tea is the gateway to emptiness.

    Gassho,

    Kirk

    SAT
    I know nothing.

  8. #8
    BigDavid
    Guest
    Ohaiyo gozaimasu mina San

    I think I have found the tea ceremony I like the best. I think it is beautiful!


    Gassho
    David Somers

  9. #9
    BigDavid
    Guest
    Not chosan, but beautiful.



    Gassho
    David Somers

  10. #10
    The last time I was able to visit my dad in Vancouver, we shared a gong-cha tea ceremony he had learned and it was a beautiful way to appreciate the oolong he had and the way it changed with each steeping. There's a tea franchise here in Canada called David's Tea and they have several varieties of matcha and different accessories to help you prepare it including a "matcha shaker" which is like a water bottle with some design to it that helps the matcha dissolve into the water and to aerate the water at the same time by basically shaking the bottle vigorously. I sometimes wondered what a tea ceremony based around this shaker might look like. A shake weight commercial, I imagine!

    I think I learned to appreciate tea more while watching Avatar: The Last Airbender wherein the character "Uncle Iroh" is a fan of especially jasmine tea. He and his nephew have a hilarious discussion about tea at one point in the series:





    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
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    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

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