Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Purifying your hands and mouth

 I put the traditional sandals on.  I stepped into the tea garden that was partially covered with snow from the night before.  I have had a lot of chances to attend tea ceremonies lately, and this was already my third ceremony this year.  It was a tea ceremony work shop for us, the Japanese Tea Instructors and Advisers. 

The people lined up and practiced how to purify their hands at the stone basin and how to get into the tea room from the small crawl-in doorway.  You, as a guest, purify your hands and mouth with water before getting into the tearoom.  You crouch down in front of tsukubai, or the stone basin.  You use two scoops of water.

*** Steps ***
The first scoop:
1.    Scoop the water with the ladle using your right hand and pour the half of the water onto your left hand to purify
2.    Then switch the ladle from your right hand to your left, and pour the rest onto your right hand
The second scoop
3.    Scoop the water again with the ladle in your right hand.  Pour and receive the half of the water with your left hand palm.  Dab the water in the left hand on your lips
4.    Let the rest of the water trickle down the shaft of the ladle to purify it as it stands.  Then you return the ladle to the basin

Now you can carry onto the tea room.  Did you know how to do these steps?  You might have a chance to purify your hands during your trip to Japan.  You will find the purifying spot at many shrines.  Even some Japanese don’t know this proper way of purifying hands.  Remember these steps and impress people!

Practicing entering the room from the crawl-in doorway

Bend your back and slid into with your kneads