the way of tea: los angeles event – celebration of the chasen @ zenshuji zen temple

During my research into The Way of Tea, I had the good fortune to stumble across Lauren Sochi Deutsch; she has been so wonderful.  Through her I’ve made contact with Jeff Fuchs, a writer, explorer and tea photographer, and the first westerner to complete the Tea Horse Road. I’m thankful for people like Lauren, who are so forthcoming with their knowledge, contacts and experience.

If you’re in Los Angeles this month, why go along to this wonderful event that she is a part of.  Bookings need to be made by Friday 29th of October.

You don’t have to go to Kyoto for authentic Japanese Zen Tea Ceremony culture. Zenshuji Soto Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, invites chado practitioners and friends to attend its annual Chasen Kuyo, celebration of the chasen, the bamboo tea whisk used to make a bowl of matcha (powdered green tea). The event attracts practitioners of all Japanese tea ceremony schools in the region in seasonal kimono.

Chanoyu (tea ceremony) is not often enjoyed outside Japan in its original context, that of a Zen Buddhist Temple. Zenshuji, one of the oldest and most prominent Zen temples in North America, is unique to host this event. This chakai (tea ceremony gathering) combines two distinct temae (tea procedures) in the temple’s tea venues and a superbly prepared chaseki (meal for tea ceremony) incorporating seasonal shojin riori (vegetarian temple cuisine) crafted by the temple’s chefs. English language explanation of the events will be provided by Lauren Sochi Deutsch, a licensed instructor of Urasenke Chado.

The day begins with a solemn Buddhist service in the hondo (main sanctuary) offering tea in appreciation of the efforts of the humble hand-tool. A talk about Zen and Chado (the “Way of Tea”) in English will follow chanting of traditional Buddhist sutras. The lecture will be given by Bishop Daigaku Rummé, newly- appointed General Director of the Soto Zen Administrative Office of North America and Abbot of Zenshuji. Bishop Daigaku Rummé is the first native-born head of Soto Zen lineage in North America. (See below for his bio.)

Advance reservations required: Deadline – October 29, 2010
Reservations are limited: No walk-ins are permitted on the day of the event. Payment in full by check should be made in advance to Zenshuji Sado-bu and sent to 123 S. Hewitt Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For more information, call 213.624.8658.

Zenshuji’s Tea Ritual organization is headed by Hiromi Sosei Yamashita, sensei, a senior student of the Chado Urasenke Distinguished Tea Master and USA/NEA National Heritage Fellow Sosei Matsumoto Sensei, of Los Angeles. The Zenshuji Sado-bu (tea ceremony teaching organization) presented chanoyu demonstrations at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has been active for over 30 years.  Lauren Sochi Deutsch also has been a student of Matsumoto Sensei since 1985. She has written about chanoyu in such publications as Parabola and Kyoto Journal, and has done lecture demonstrations at UCLA, the Olympics, Embassy of Japan in Washington DC, among other places.

General Director of the Soto Zen Administrative Office of North America, the abbot of Zenshuji.Bishop Daigaku Rummé was born in Mason City, Iowa in 1950. He was ordained a Soto monk by Harada Sekkei Roshi in 1978. For more than twenty-seven years, he practiced under Harada Roshi at Hosshinji Monastery in Fukui, Japan. Since March 2003, he has been on the staff of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center located in San Francisco. He resides at the San Francisco Zen Center and is the translator of The Essence of Zen by Harada Roshi, which was republished by Wisdom Publications in 2008. On April 1, 2010, he was appointed as Director of the Soto Zen Buddhism North America Office.

For additional information about the tea ceremony in Los Angeles, visit:

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  1. […] View event details Posted in Current Events, Events | Tagged Buddhism, California, Los Angeles, tea dogu, tea whisk, Zen Cancel Reply […]

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