A Word from the Teacher
The Thing Called Keiko (Practice)
By: Satou Ryouko

Chado, as the chinese characters show, is the Way of Tea. In the art of tea that is the temae, the psychological elements are gathered into a “Way”.

“Kei” has the meaning of “to consider”. In other words, does “kei-ko” then have the meaning of also accumulating thoughts about things of old (ko), ie: one’s experiences and things learned? For that reason, even when doing the same temae everyday, keiko is likely the matter of accumulating today’s temae on top of yesterday’s temae. It is slowly, but surely, accumulating the foundations of tea.

Also, there is the phrase, “Mitori-keiko (lit. practicing by watching and taking)”. This is a method of keiko were you remember by watching the movements of others, although you yourself are not practicing the part of the temae or guests. The act of practicing Tea began by copying the forms (ie,ettiquette). I imagine that the pleasure of increases more when you master those actions with your body and naturally. Also, the advice the teacher gives during okeiko is is not just for the person currently practicing the temae, but apply to everyone there. So let’s take the advice given during keiko.

Also, correct carriage of the body is essential to a beautiful temae. Let me introduce am exercise you can do at home to maintain beautiful sitting posture.

1. Sit in seiza.
2. Clasp your hands behind your back.
3. Stick your chin out front as much as you can, and stretch your clasped hands behind you.
4. Remembering clearly the stretched positioned of your spine, return your hands and chin as they were before.

In this position, the upper body can be brought down and you can bow with beautiful posture. If you feel that the countenance of your body has become disordered, try repeating the exercise once again.