Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A monk's scroll on tea togetherness

Kogetsu Sogan (1574–1643) was the 156th chief priest of Kyoto's Daitokuji temple — obviously an excellent place to indoctrinate oneself into mellow mindfulness.

A devotee of sado, Sogan penned many calligraphic scrolls about the philosophy of tea, including this one: "Hin chū shu, shu chū hin (賓中主々中賓), which translates literally "Guest in the host, host in the guest."

You may associate the tea ceremony with sharp distinctions between the obligations of host and guest, but there's more to it, namely, the goal of host and guest coming together through the tea they share.

At least, that's one interpretation. What do you think?

—Mellow Monk


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