Seishori nimo todomarazu[February 2015]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

Seishori nimo todomarazu[February 2015]

KOBORI Sojitsu (the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School )

I hope everyone has started the new year without incident.

I was very pleased that many people attended the first tea ceremony of the year and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone.

As I do every year, during the first tea ceremony of the year I express what I personally want to achieve that year using Zen words on a hanging scroll. This year I hung a scroll with words of Takuan Soho, the 153rd generation of the Daitoku-ji temple's monk with whom my ancestor was very friendly.

As far as I understand it the message means we have to 'break through all of the layers of obstacles we face' and that will result in a 'cloudless perfectly clear blue sky' and that even though 'training and learning will lead to states of understanding it is important not to stay there but to move on'.

Everyone has their own unique personality and everyone undertakes some form of work or education when participating in society. Everyone sets different goals for themselves depending on the moment, their age and circumstance. On the way to achieving these goals, everyone encounters a variety of troubles. But even when one has achieved one's goals, it is important not to stop and rest. This is the meaning of the Zen message on this scroll.

One could say that this message strikes at the heart of man's weakness. People prefer to avoid change when they get comfortable. But as time passes, people grow older and our environment changes, it is often the case that we become discontent with that which we were once satisfied with. It is for this very reason that we must remain curious about everything in life and to want to try new things.

In tea ceremony it has been considered important to want to have an original idea. As I mentioned in last month's journal entry, the first poetry reading of the year was on hon, or the character for origin. I used this opportunity to inscribe on a tea ladle the following message:

2015 - The joy of tea ceremony is in learning new things and the origin of things