New Year tradition – FTEOTDGS Tea

FTEOTDGS Tea promotes love (brahmavihārās), reverence for nature and togetherness through sharing tea. It is an indulgence in the rapture of being alive.

The concept and presentation of FTEOTDGS Tea hails to Kōshō Bosatsu Eison (1201-1290) who is revered for his extensive charity activities and work to promote loving-kindness and togetherness in his community and across Japan. A natural expression of his practice was ōchamori, the ceremony of offering massive bowls of tea to the spirits of nature before offering the tea to the community. This ceremony still takes place annually on the 16th of January at Saidai-ji, Nara, Japan as a New Year’s prayer for health, prosperity and enlightenment for all beings.

The colours laced through the ceremony represent:
Purple – equanimity
Red – love
White – emφtiness
Yellow – joy
Green – compassion

For me, the massive tea bowls and tea equipage represent the desire to communicate widely the values of love, compassion, joy and equanimity (brahmavihārās चत्वारि ब्रह्मविहारा). The massive tea bowls necessitate people helping each other to drink, as one bowl is too big and heavy to drink independently. Thus people hold the one big brahmavihārā heart together and create community on the spot. This is at one and the same time a celebration of togetherness and an indulgence in the rapture of being alive.

Venue: Let Them Eat Cake letthemeatcakenyd.com.au
Images: Byron Kehoe
Tea whisk and ladle: Tanimura Tango of Wahokudo, Nara
Tea bowls: Alistair Whyte www.alistairwhyte.com.au
Kimono onepiece: Yuka Kiyama www.etsy.com/shop/ForrieHues
Tea: WE.TEA.02 Dawn Moon nipponcha.net