Naropa Tea House

Bring Chadō Home to the Historic Tea House

What Is Chadō?

Tsukabai stone basin. Join in community for a bowl of tea.

Translated as “The Way of Tea," Chadō is an aesthetic and cultural practice focused on the cultivation of self-awareness. This practice, refined and codified in Japan, creates a ceremonial space where host and guests gather mindfully and together, enjoy a simple bowl of tea. Chadō allows us to step out of our daily lives and into a still space where the arts (of poetry, ceramics, woodworking, architecture, calligraphy, flower arrangement, incense, textiles, calligraphy, food, etiquette, and awareness of the seasons) come together.

In 1970, fifteenth generation Urasenke grand tea master Sen Genshitsu (玄室) invited the world to practice Chadō. His dream was to cultivate peacefulness through a bowl of tea, and to that end, he worked to share this sacred practice with the world. Traveling and teaching internationally, he spread “Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea.”

Japanese Tea Ceremony at Naropa

In the early 1980s, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche designed a Japanese-inspired tea house which his students then built for his birthday. It was a perfect addition to a contemplative community centered on mindful spaces and practices. Originally located at Trungpa Rinpoche’s Boulder home, the tea house was moved to Naropa’s Arapahoe Campus in 1989, two years after his passing.

Since then, the tea house has hosted many different tea teachers from various lineages. Throughout the years, the tea house has been a resource for contemplative practice, intercultural competency, and appreciation of the arts for students and community members. Most recently, weekly lessons were offered by Mike “Sōhō” Ricci, an accomplished Urasenke tea teacher and Raku potter.

As the tea house reopens, the practice will be included in Naropa Community Practice Days, as part of other Naropa classes, and in open workshops. With your support, the tea house will continue to be a useful and beautiful resource for years to come. The increased stability and functionality that come from your support will allow our robust community to grow and spread peace through tea for many more generations.

Forge a Flourishing Tea Community

A retreat from the noise and speed of daily life, the tea house is an integral and indispensable part of Naropa's history and our founder's original vision. Re-establishing a tea community begins with the cultivation of the practice space. The tea house at Naropa needs maintenance and care to ensure the simplicity and clarity of the practice environment.

Your Generous Contribution Will:

  • Reinforce the structure of the tea house, so it will stand for many years to come.
  • Expand the “kitchen” space for more efficient storage and workspace. This will also allow more students to practice.
  • Move the tokonoma (alcove) and adding a tea house door for a more traditional and useful orientation.
  • Replace well-worn tatami mats with fresh ones that will last for many years.
  • Landscape the tea garden to better evoke a transformation from the everyday world to one of tranquility and harmony.
  • Replace and repair damaged shoji screens inside the tea room.
  • Purchase community dogu (utensils) that will allow students to learn the proper appreciation of all the arts of tea.

Artist rendering of what the tea house will look like after renovations.

Naropa tea house interior
tea house blueprint
Naropa future tea house rendering
The new teahouse: the same but better.

Chadō, or the Way of Tea, embraces the four values of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.

Additional Resources

  • If you are interested in studying Chadō, please visit Rocky Mountain Chadō.
  • Read about a student's perspective of the Way of Tea in the Pilot Light blog.

YOU ARE READY

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