Zen

About Zen

Mugen – Yuri Kinoshita

Back in October My Green Tea had the opportunity to participate in a special tea ceremony designed by our beloved and talented friend, Yuri Kinoshita. Hosted by Pottery Northwest, Yuri had worked closely with Wally Bivins and Yoshi Kawamura for this event.

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Words cannot describe this serene atmosphere she created, inspired by Kimigamo Shrine’s iconic sand mounds in Kyoto. Hence the coned shape sculptures that hold her tea utensils.

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We actually visited the Kamigamo Shrine this last winter (2015) and actually had the chance to see the sand mounds in person. There are actually always two mounds, we only have this one photographed because there was actually a wedding ceremony taking place and only had a chance to take a quick shot.

Known for her accomplishments as a lighting designer from Kyoto, her work seems to continuously transcend all expectations. This Mugen event did not only serve as an exhibition, but a demonstration of traditional Japanese tea ceremony style known as Ryurei, of course with a Yuri Kinoshita twist.

Just as the traditional Ryurei tea ceremony style they used a table and chairs, instead of sitting on a Tatami mat. Unlike traditional Ryurei tea ceremony style Yuri custom designed and built the 30” ceramic mountain to hold her tools, hot water, sweets, and chawan (tea bowl). Her traditional, yet contemporary use of such material reminded us of one of our favorite tea heroes of all time, Sen no Rikyu. Thank you for allowing us to participate in your beautiful vision.

 

Tea Host: Bonnie Mitchell (East-West Chanoyu Center)

Video: Ian Lucero

Music: (Used with permission) Paul Cheoketen Wagner – “The Sacred Light of the New Day”

Tea: Jyoraku Matcha from My Green Tea

How does Matcha tea help with concentration and focus?

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“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves-slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” –Thich Nhat Hanh <3

Japanese monks recognized the properties of the deep green elixir a thousand of years ago and used it as an aid in their meditation practice. In long hours of stillness they found that drinking Matcha helped keep their mind calmly alert.

This was New Years 2016 at the Grand Tsubaki Shrine in Granite Falls, WA. They are the only Shinto Shrine on the west cost of America. This is a beautiful place, no matter what season it is.
This was New Years 2016 at the Grand Tsubaki Shrine in Granite Falls, WA. They are the only Shinto Shrine on the west cost of America. This is a beautiful place, no matter what season it is.

For centuries Matcha has given us relaxation without causing drowsiness. Science has confirmed that such practice may be attributed in a rare amino acid Matcha contains, known as L-Theanine. L-Theanine promotes a state of relaxation by influencing the brain. Whilst stress induces beta waves an active, more agitated state, L-Theanine creates alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed attentiveness.

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In Japan, L-Theanine has been approved for use in all foods, including herb teas, soft drinks, desserts, etc. with some restrictions applying to infant foods.

While this magical protein is common in all green teas, Matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas! Unlike tea’s counterpart, coffee, Matcha promotes concentration and clarity of the body and mind without any of the nervous energy found in coffee. If you are on the pursuit of replacing your everyday coffee in the morning, try Matcha to give you that energy boost and clear focus.

Hope you try our delightful blend of Matcha order 👉here👈 and join the My Green Tea family.

That being said, hope you take time. Make time. For tea time.

Warmly,

The My Green Tea Family

Resources:
1.  Yokogoshi H, et al. Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious ratsNeurochem Res. 1998 May;23(5):667-73.

2.  Ito K, et al. Effects of L-theanine on the release of alpha brain waves in human volunteers. Nippon Nogeikagaku Kaishi 1998;72:153-7.  No abstract.

WE ❤️ YOU Spoon & Tamago blog~!

*・゜゚・*:.。..。.:*・'(*゚▽゚*)’・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*

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 Spoon & Tamago is my all time favorite blog. They capture the exquisite harmony of traditional & contemporary Japanese art and culture. They just recently posted a beautiful piece in the book, Architectural Ikkoan, capturing the beauty of Wagashi*.

 
Loved viewing how the tea world is evolving beautifully, while staying true to its Zen origins.
Wagashi is a traditional Japanese confectionery for tea ceremony. Usually made from mochi, anko, and fruits. Wagashi is typically made from plant ingredients.

Tea Practice – Ryakubon Temae Urasenke – 略盆点前

Practiced a little tea ceremony (Okeiko/Otemai) today, a particular style called Ryakubon Temae Urasenke – 略盆点前. And had the opportunity to study under Mrs. Makiko Tong in the lovely Queen Ann area.

For Gyakubon Otemai you don't sit on the floor. (THANK GOODNESS ^.< Because last time I sat through tea ceremony it felt like I lost my legs for an hour after sitting "seiza" style for that long! -_-")
For Ryakubon Otemai you don’t sit on the floor. (THANK GOODNESS ^.< Because last time I sat through tea ceremony it felt like I lost my legs for an hour after sitting “seiza” style for that long! -_-“)

She humbly corrected the way we were holding the utensils, and laughed at us forgivingly as we as we spoon humongous mound of matcha into our bowls. Admist all the noise, it wasn’t until I observed the moment for what it was,  the beautifully cyclical relationship in tea ceremony between a “guest” and “host.”

Utensils for performing Gyakubon Otemai. Had to "purify" the utensils in front of the guest before preparing and serving the tea. (It was pretty much a ceremony in-and-of-itself.
Utensils for performing Ryakubon Otemai. Had to “purify” the utensils in front of the guest before preparing and serving the tea. (It was pretty much a ceremony in-and-of-itself.

Her house had such a dreamy view of the lake and the clouds cleared enough for us to enjoy Mt. Rainer as the ephemeral day started transitioning to night.

Traditional cast iron "kama"
Traditional cast iron “kama”