WABI-CHA, the art of imperfection

by | Mar 3, 2023 | Infusions, Tea culture

Inspired by Wabi-CHA: the art of imperfection. Sen no Rikyū is the historical figure considered to have had the most profound influence on the Japanese tea ceremony and chanoyu, the Japanese “Way of Tea”, and particularly on the tradition of Wabi-Cha (guided by the tea master Takeeno Joo). Rikyū was the first to emphasize several key aspects of the ceremony, including rustic simplicity, directness of approach, and self-honesty.

Wabi-Cha is the application of the Wabi-Sabi philosophy in the world of tea. Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese philosophy for a perfectly imperfect life. Rikyū also began designing his own tea wares, sometimes having them made by local artisans. Raku Ware tea bowls originated in Rikyū, and a tile maker named Raku Chōjirō created bowls, objects for use in the tea room, including flower vessels made of bamboo.

Bringing Wabi-Sabi into your life does not require money, training, or special skills. It takes a mind calm enough to appreciate subdued beauty, the courage not to fear nudity, and the willingness to accept things as they are, without ornamentation. It depends on the ability to slow down, shift the balance from doing to being, to appreciating rather than perfecting. “Wabi” is defined as “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance” with a focus on a less-is-more mentality. “Sabi” translates as “enjoy the imperfect.”

Japanese philosophy encourages us to focus on the blessings hidden in our daily lives and to celebrate things as they are rather than as they should be.

At Namasteaco, we are sure it is an act of kindness to us to apply this Japanese philosophy. Are you up for it? ⠀

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