Chadō or chanoyu, the practice of Japanese tea ceremony, is as much a cultural philosophy as it is a formal gathering to drink tea. Founded on Zen Buddhist principles, chadō emphasizes a soft reflection of the spirit and sense of oneness with others in the tea room. Principles of chadō include:
Mono no aware・物の哀れ
"The pathos of things," or a deep empathy for the transience of life. Eighteenth-century scholar of the Edo period Motōri Norinaga (1730-1801) wrote, "To know mono no aware is to discern the power and essence, not just of the moon and the cherry blossoms, but of every single thing existing in this world, and to be stirred by each of them."
An appreciation for that which is modest, rustic, incomplete or even decayed, to reflect the melancholic beauty of imperfection.
That each encounter or moment is fleeting, unique, and should be treated with heartfelt appreciation.
Wa, kei, sei, jaku・和、敬、清、寂
Harmony, respect, purity, tranquility—the aim of chadō is to experience and integrate these principles into daily life.
To be a gracious host by all possible means, empowering the guest to leave everything up to the host. In doing so, guest and host may communicate indirectly on equal footing, showing courtesy to each other.