The Naropa Tea House
Bring Chadō Home to the Historic Tea House
What Is Chadō?
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.
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. For 15 years, weekly lessons were offered by Mike “Sōhō” Ricci, an accomplished Urasenke tea teacher and Raku potter. Currently classes and demonstrations are offered by Thomas “TJ” Shōnen 正念 DeZauche, an affiliate faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he teaches coursework in Eastern Religions. TJ holds a Master of Arts in Religious Studies, with a focus in Buddhism and Sanskrit. In 2016, he received the Tokudo ordination, becoming a priest in the Tendai Buddhist tradition of Japan. He studied Chadō for 13 years, and in 2017 he was granted permission to teach from Omotesenke, one of the major Japanese Tea lineages, receiving the name Sōen 宗猿.
Tea practice is included in Naropa Community Practice Days, as part of other Naropa classes, and in open classes and 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.