Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Tea and Truth: Tea Alone, Tea Together (and Giveaway)



Kudos to all the people who participated in the writing experiment last week.  I've been filled with joy reading your responses.  THANK you!  The winner of last week's prize is Rosemary!  She will be receiving some special tea I brought back from Darjeeling, along with additional writing prompts!

Writing Theme for Week #2:  Tea Alone and Tea Together

This week, I'm inviting you to think about tea on two levels... taking tea alone and with others.  To start our exploration, here are two quotes from Sen Soshitsu - Grand Master XIV, Urasenke School of Tea.

On Drinking Tea Alone...
"In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea; I see all of nature represented in its green color. Closing my eyes I find green mountains and pure water within my own heart. Silently sitting alone and drinking tea, I feel these become part of me."

On Drinking Tea With Friends...
"What is the most wonderful thing for people like myself who follow the Way of Tea? My answer: The oneness of host and guest, created through 'meeting heart to heart', and sharing a bowl of tea."

Now let's write!

Preparing:  Gather a pen and paper, or your computer.  Find yourself a comfortable place to write.  Once your implements are settled, make yourself a cup of good tea.  (Go out and buy some loose tea if you need to.)

Sipping:  Pour yourself a cup, and mull over these two quotes.

Writing:  My idea this week is to adopt the forms form these two quotes, they're so beautifully written.  I enjoy practicing the forms of the best writing I can find.  Try out these forms or venture on your own.  Enjoy!
  • Tea Alone: Start with this phrase and finish the lines, "In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea."
    • I see....
    • Closing my eyes, I find...
    • Silently siting alone and drinking tea, I feel...
    • What other details would you like to add? 
    • What other experiences does this bring to mind?
  • Tea Together: "What is the most wonderful thing for people like myself who follow the Way of Tea?
    • My answer:...
Prizes:  Leave a comment in this post, telling me what you you think about this writing prompt OR share one of your lines.  We're all winners by reading your comments.  I'll announce the winner, chosen randomly, next week.  Happy writing!

*Images in this post are from Microsoft Online Images.

9 comments:

Rosemary said...

Oh! How exciting! Looking forward to a very special sampling of Darjeeling! On the surface, this weeks writing prompt appears easy, but looking deeper into the tea, there is another level of consciousness brewing! Will have to ponder this!

Marilyn said...

Congratulations to Rosemary (Nancy)!

I wrote last weeks response yesterday and it was a special time of tea with my mom. I may put it on my blog tomorrow. So now I will be also pondering this weeks writing adventure. Just off the top of my head when I think of sharing tea with a friend it is so different than other shared adventures, as tea encourages us to slow down and share a time of quietness and softer voices.

Steph said...

You're right, Marilyn! Tea with a friend is different than anything else!

Angela McRae said...

OK, I happen to be reading this while sitting here drinking some milk (I almost never drink milk), but I am coming back later because I don't want to miss out this week!

Steph said...

Angela - I won't tell if you write while drinking milk. ;-)

Marlena said...

When I look into a bowl of tea I see green fields of tea, high mountains, mist and sunshine. The air swirls around me, I am united with teapickers, with tea drinkers. Far horizons come near.

Tea with friends is point and counterpoint to life lived well. One friend is all friends who drink tea with me, we are all held together in one moment, it is also every moment. The far away becomes close by. Hearts open to other hearts.

Steph said...

Marlena - that is beautiful!

Angela McRae said...

The best thing about this prompt was that it caused me to slow down and get quiet! Here's what I wrote:

In my hand I hold a bowl of tea. I see the rich earthen brown of the tea mug and inhale the rich nutlike fragrance of the tea. Closing my eyes, I find I feel, rather than see, the steam rising from the mug. Silently sitting alone and drinking tea, I feel at peace, free of anxiety. I've quieted my surroundings. I've quieted me.

mep said...

These are wonderful prompts, Steph.