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Where Practice Begins Again

 

Poem number 90 of the 100 Poems of Chanoyu says:

 

Practice starts from ‘1’ and continues through to ‘10’

Each step is learnt well, before returning to ‘1’: where practice begins again

 

稽古とは一より習い十を知れ、十より帰る元の其の一 

keiko to wa ichi yori narai jyū wo shire, jyū yori kaeru moto no sono ichi

 

To elucidate the meaning further, one could change the last line to the following :

 

Practice starts from ‘1’ and continues through to ‘10’

Each step is learnt well, before returning to ‘1’: where new understanding lies

 

At keiko recently, I'm getting my more advanced students to return to the first temae they ever learnt. Specifically: the diamond tea meditation, the bondemae (ceremony on tray) and the hirademae (standard temae). After going through many temae up to forms on the daisu (grand sideboard), it's good to come all the way back down. After all, the most basic temae are all based on the original teachings of the daisu. When you revisit these basic forms again, in the silence of the temae you can hear the distant echo of the advanced teachings. This echo carries new understanding. The beauty of chanoyu practice is that each time you 'return to 1', the echo resonates from a place more profound. 

 

 - Adam Wojciński, Paris

 

 

 

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Adam Sōmu Wojciński, 2018 

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