The Tea Ceremony on Tour

Beltane                 Full Flower Moon

Two tours this morning.  The first, a Visual Thinking Strategies, for third graders from Maxfield school in St. Paul went well.  The kids attention petered out after about 45 minutes and we went on search of things they found interesting like guns (flintlock rifles) and a painting of a small dead boy wearing a dress.

The second, a public tour, had the Museum given title, Steeped in Tradition:  a tour of Chinese and Japanese art.  I thought, well, why not talk about the origins of the Japanese tea ceremony.  We began in India with Vishnu and the Ghandara Buddha, stopped by the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara in China and smaller statue of the Buddha, then went into the Taoist gallery.  After the Taoist gallery we visited the Song dynasty ceramics for a Chan Buddhist inspired tea cup, then onto Japan for our fine statue of Amitabha Buddha, the Buddha of the Pure Land.

We first hit the tea ceremony proper with the shoin audience hall, used by Shoguns as well Buddhist abbotts for ceremonial occasions including the first, elaborate, large and showy tea ceremonies.  After that we went to the tea wares gallery to look at tea cups and discuss the notion of wabi-sabi.  The tour ended at the tea-house and brief walk through of the purpose of the tea ceremony.  There was only one woman on the tour but she had an interest in Asian art and knew something of China and Thailand.

Back home.  Nap.  Now, workout.

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