Chado (Cha: tea, Do: way) is the traditional Japanese Way of Tea. Also known as chanoyu (Japanese: cha, tea (from Middle Chinese) + no, possessive particle + yu, hot water), or 'tea ceremony', it is simply a ritual that features preparing a bowl of tea and serving it to guests.
Served with a respectful heart and received with gratitude, a bowl of tea satisfies both physical and spiritual thirst.
“The simple act of serving tea and receiving it with gratitude is the basis for a way of life called Chado, the Way of Tea”.Dr. Soshitsu Sen
“The chaji (a formal Tea event) is a form of ritual which developed out of the concern for Tea as a vehicle for enlightenment”.Anderson L. Jennifer1987 (Japanese Tea Ritual)
The underlying philosophy of Tea evolved from Zen Buddhism. Zen is the Japanese counterpart of the Chinese word chan, which is a translation of the Sanskrit word dhyana, meaning the meditation that leads to deep spiritual insight. Both Tea and Zen emphasize a way of training body and mind in awareness that has potential to become a rigorous spiritual discipline.
Wabi: Since the introduction of tea from China by Buddhist monks in Japan in the 9th century, tea ceremony developed as a "transformative practice," and began to evolve its own aesthetic, in particular that of wabi, meaning quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste.
Ichi-go ichi-e: By the 16th century, tea drinking had spread to all levels of society in Japan. Urasenke founder, Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591), perhaps the most well-known and still revered historical figure in tea ceremony, followed his master Takeno Jōō's concept of ichi-go ichi-e, a belief that each meeting should be treasured, for it can never be reproduced.
Sen Rikyu summarized the principles of the discipline of Tea into four concepts: Harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility, or the peace of mind that comes with the realization of the first three principles.
By learning chado, we seek to obtain an ultimate peace of mind.