Gongfu Girl is on vacation. She hopes you will enjoy this excerpt from Tea Life, order Tea Mind by Soshitsu Sen XV.
“Harmony” is the result of the interaction of the host and guest, the food served, and the utensils used with the flowing rhythms of nature. It reflects both the evanescence of all things and the unchanging in the changing. The host interacts with the guest, both thinking of one another as if their roles were reversed. Before tea is served, the host will offer a sweet to the guest, or often a light meal. In both cases, what is served should be appropriate to the season. Utensils should be in harmony with each other and the mood and theme of the tea gathering. The principle of harmony means to be free of pretensions, walking the path of moderation, becoming neither heated nor cold, and never forgetting the attitude of humility.