Chado Urasenke Tankokai, Bulgaria

A foreword from Krissi Prahova

Offering tea and accepting it with a heart full of gratitude is a simple gesture that constitutes a way of life called Chado - the Way of Tea. By preparing and serving tea according to the Tea ritual we touch different aspects of the ethics, the aesthetics, the philosophy and the relations between human beings.

The people from the West need some time to realize that the bowl of green tea which symbolizes their acquaintance with Japan is something more than a bowl of tea.

A bowl of green tea means hospitality, harmony, meditation, naturalness and beauty. Lots of people still see Tea Ceremony as something that is far from the mainstream of life, something egocentric and related only to Japan and the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Maybe for those who are just mere observers the ritual forms of preparing tea seem lifeless and meaningless. But only when we become part of Tea and when Tea becomes part of us, we can discover that it is something more than we can imagine. Even the most accidental participant in a tea ceremony will immerse into a mysterious beauty and will get a sensation that is beyond the everyday experience. The graceful movements of the tea ritual let us enter into a world which otherwise we are unable to see.

These ritual forms are part of the Way - a Way that is taking us far from the everyday life. A Way that is leading us towards a reality wider and maybe more real than our own limited mind. Without the ritual and the form it will be very difficult for us to move to that all-embracing space. Preparing a powdered green tea, offering it and accepting it with a heart full of gratitude take us into the world of the harmonious human relations.

Let us drink together a bowl of green tea and become more tolerant, happier and better human beings.