Most of the guests were new to the tea ceremony. They are fellows from my Aikido class. I took all the utensils into the living room of my Aiki teacher’s apartment and I served tea for twelve people with my assistant. These days, I frequently think back on how good the tea ceremony went. I remember the excited faces of the fellows and kids helping on shifting matcha with their eyes alight.
All of the guests properly sat on their knees even though I haven’t told them to do so. That’s Aikodo practitioner! Moreover, when I bowed at the beginning of the ceremony, all the guests synchronously bowed in silent. How nice it is! It instantly developed the feeling of unity in the atmosphere, and boosted my excitement.
I found the eyes on the person who were receiving sweets beatific. I could tell the guests were trying to sense something from my ritual performance by solemnly watching my movements with great interest. As I’m serving tea one by one, I noticed that the next guest looked slightly nerves and curious. I felt like that I could read the emotions of others without words. This session reminded me that the tea ceremony is different from casually enjoying matcha at the dining room. Maybe because you sit on your legs and bow with your hands on the floor, or the ritual gestures of the host. I don’t know what magic in it. I was more sensitive to the emotions of others. After all, I am simply glad to find that the guests were delighted. I’ve been basking in the resonance of the gathering this week.