“If tea, like the moon at its clearest, could promote a beautiful state of mind in people throughout the world, it would surely make a great contribution to world peace.” (Sen Shositsu XV, in the “Spirit of Tea”)
Such was the experience the children and the host shared through the Way of Tea. The culture of tea is a culture of hospitality, not only in Japan, but in many different cultures. Tea is a means for establishing and maintaining good relations among each other, being in the moment together of welcoming and accepting. The tea spirit, through the Way of Tea, as it is appreciated in Japan, is thought to be not only confined to the tearoom. It is thought of as a spirit essential for people living together in the world of nature with many other living beings. As the children sipped their tea from the delicate tea cups, they could not help but smile. What a wonderful culture, bringing smiles upon faces, to continue living in the moment together with mutual recognition of and respect for others. The message of the host written on the scroll in the alcove was ‘kokoro’, meaning ‘heart’. How often are we able to listen to our hearts, to listen to the heart of others, our environment? How are we able to possess a gentle heart that can help to sprout a harmonious heart?