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The Teahouse

Patricia Hemphill Emile, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Chado - The Way of Tea, says that according to Zen, “there is no duality. The way to happiness is to integrate all the dualism (life/death, happiness/sorrow, wealth/poverty) into an acceptance of one's immediate imperfect reality. The Tea Ceremony might almost be considered a Zen mass as it is firmly rooted in that philosophical tradition.” The ceremony, austere and deceptively simple, incorporates the principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. Guest and host respect each other equally; all which is not essential, both in mind and physical setting, is left out; all effort focuses on the activity at hand, which is representative of life itself. Seemingly contradictory, the discipline over mind and body involved in the ceremony actually leads to greater freedom. ^ Outside the teahouse, each of us, confronted by dualities, must find our own way of contending with them. For me, the discipline of poetry helps shape and give voice to experience—reaction to, and expectations of, place; the pleasures of discovery; the vicissitudes of human relationships; change and loss. Through the “rituals” of observation, deliberation, selection, and arrangement which are an inherent part of the writing process, I seek understanding and acceptance of the ebb and flow of living. ^

Subject Area

Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Emile, Patricia Hemphill, "The Teahouse" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9962057.