You don’t have to go to Kyoto for a real taste of authentic Japanese Zen Tea Ceremony culture. Zenshuji Soto Buddhist Temple, 123 S. Hewitt Street (1st and Hewitt Streets., Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles) invites the public to attend its annual Chasen Kuyo, the offering of tea ceremony whisks (chasen), Sunday, November 6, 2005, from 11:00am through about 2:00pm. (For information about previous events, please see the Zenshuji web site.)
The day’s events will include a home-made shojin ryori kaiseki lunch, the traditional Zen Buddhist temple vegetarian cuisine brought to its ultimate refinement in Japanese tea ceremony communities. The meal will be painstakingly prepared by the temple?s expert team of community chefs.
Everything is made from scratch, including the tea sweets, with appropriate attention paid to the event and the season.
Zenshuji, the only place in the USA where this traditional event takes place, offers chanoyu (literally: making hot water for tea) classes in the lineage of Kyoto’s legendary Urasenke school. No prior tea ceremony experience is required. There will be English translation and chairs will be provided. Rituals will include tea ceremonies in the temple’s tea rooms, and the service and lecture in the main sanctuary.
The honored guest speaker for this event will be the Rev. Genki Takabayashi, sensei. A retired lineage holder in the Rinzai sect of Zen, he infuses 60 years of Zen practice into the making of traditional ceramic tea utensils and calligraphy for collectors and practitioners of Chado, the way of tea. Rev. Takabayashi, who resides in Montana, will exhibit some of his creations.
According to him, gathering in silence, guest and host share enjoyment of a flower, a scroll, a friend, the taste of tea. This meditation on One Mind has inspired the Tea Ceremony for hundreds of years and continues to this day.
Admission is $40 per person. For information and reservation, please contact the temple at 213.624.8658. Space is limited, and reservations can be secured by a check payable to Zenshuji Sado-bu, mailed to 123 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles CA 90012.