Love is the driving force behind tea, here, now. I can’t think of a better word that communicates at once to people of all levels of English the rapture of being alive that I experienced at the inaugural World Tea Gathering in Reykjavik. This rapture, this love is present when you share and connect with people through art, self-discovery, reverence for nature, joy in fleeting moments and new encounters, accepting not ‘tolerating’, feeling small, and embracing your sensuality and emotions as a tea-drinking human being. In the Momoyama Period Japan, the period where tea reached its fullest expression, ´love´ never gets a mention as a value for tea. At this time of civil war, suppressing emotion was valued instead. Love was seen as weakness. But over centuries, slowly without anyone realising it, the ‘tea ceremony’ has became a cipher for love. Love in the sense of compassion and wishing joy for others. Love for nature, Gaia and love for understanding people as a transient part of nature. Tea is a cipher for love, an end in itself that knows no cultural boundaries. Let us come together through tea!
- Adam Wojcinski
Tea gathering is about tasting tea of artists with playful spirits, spending time, collaborating and learning from each other.
Consciousness of an artist reflects in artwork and taste of tea.
We are the tea we make.
Sharp eyes of tea friends can recognise the weather of who we are through taste of tea.
We helped each other to make our tea ceremonies, that made bigger things possible than what individuals can do alone.
The scenery of Iceland was the perfect place to experience this magic.
- Mai Ueda
In the 21th of June I arrived in Reykjavik to meet other World Tea Gathering participants for the first time. It was the longest day of the year and of my whole life since then. We offered tea to unknown people in different places. We shared bowls of tea and drank together. During these days, I lived respect, purity, harmony and tranquility during the performances and in our daily lives. The tea spirit was in the atmosphere the whole day, while we prepared tea, but also when we cook, drove and had fun together visiting incredible landscapes. We shared with no words what each one of us had learnt in the way of tea and in our lives. In fact, there’s no separation between tea and life. By sharing, we learn. Together, we create.
- Erika Kobayashi
This is what I experienced:
The close relationship between art and life. Every moment of our life, lived with intensity, has to reflect what we have studied, practiced and experienced;
That life is made of encounters and that every encounter is unique and unrepeatable. It has to became the opportunity to show the opening of our heart, sensitive to everything surrounding us and also ready to create an intense and deep relationship to what surrounds us;
In the tea practice there is no beginning and no end, there is no inside and no outside. All our life can and has to become a reflection of our practice;
The great teaching I received during the World Tea Gathering is that we always have to perceive the spirit and the atmosphere of the place in which we are and the way to harmonise with what there is in that place.
In Iceland I found so many landscapes of overwhelming beauty, in which the sense of nature was perceived by us in a very strong way. Shortly, it is the willingness to harmonize ourselves with what sorrounds us.
A further important opportunity I was given by this experience was to be able to live moments of great intensity and deep communion with all the artists who participated in this very beautiful event. Even with people I met for the first time, even though the short period of time, I found a deep spiritual communion.
This extraordinary harmony experienced during the event gave me an energy that I have never experienced before in my life.
- Alberto Moro