Bringing the Text to Life
Long ago, according to Japanese legend, Rikyu Sen no Rikyu, a mere youth, sought to learn the elaborate ritual of customs known as the Way of Tea. Centuries before Starbucks introduced Chai to its coffee lovers, or even before the British instituted Tea Time into its cultural makeup, the Way of Tea was an oriental mainstay. It describes not an art or a hobby but a way of life with its own values, ethics and morals.
Rikyu traveled to tea-master Takeeno Joo, who tested the younger man by asking him to tend the garden, another sacred tradition in Japanese culture. Rikyu weeded and cultivated the ground until the garden was aesthetically perfect. But before presenting the impeccably tilled garden to his master, he scrutinized the immaculate landscape and discerned that something was wrong. The scene was too perfect. He shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers to spill randomly upon the perfectly manicured ground. And a new way to look at life was created: wabi-sabi.
While the prevailing...