With the support of ceramist Judith Mennenöh, Cologne-based artist Kathrin Brecker creates space for tea under the name of Achtsam , in the form of captivatingly beautiful tea bowls that immediately catch the eye with their simple beauty. At least me. The tea bowls correspond to the Japanese Wabi-Sabi Ideal, a Zen Buddhist aesthetic that was shaped by the Japanese tea ceremony. Wabi-Sabi items are different from piece to piece and so are also Kathrin Breckers tea bowls handmade single pieces. On the outside they have a rough surface of simple clay and inside a white glaze, which brings the color of the tea to advantage. On the lips, the rough outside of the shell and the softness of the tea combine.
These wonderful tea bowls are now available exclusively over 3 treasures . Each of the unique bowls comes in a black lacquered wooden box.
The Japanese way of drinking tea invites to inner contemplation, the stillness of the moment and finds its perfection in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. And so does Kathrin Breckers concept clearly against the trend to see tea drinking only as a wellness and lifestyle product. Mindfulness – Space for Tea seeks to support mindfulness and draw attention to Japanese aesthetics, the idea of the tea ceremony, and one’s own behavior.
The Japanese tea ceremony is an art form for which Zen masters and monks have developed over the years many styles, principles and rules that have shaped their aesthetics and meaning. There is, for example, the preference for incomplete, often a little rough tea utensils and the special tea rooms are designed according to the principle of simplicity. I remember one person telling me that he first got back in touch with the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony, with the tea-drinking rituals of his homeland, East Frisia, where the Teetied also has a high status in people’s lives. Again, emphasis is placed on the right tea, a teapot with warmer, Kluntjes (candy), cream with a matching cream spoon and the appropriate teacups.
At Rinzai Zen, where drinking tea is closely tied to Zen practice, one drinks the tea before zazen, sitting in silence, each with 4 sips. The first sip is
for <wa> harmony, represented by the sangha or community that has come together for tea-drinking. The second sip means <kei> reverence (especially life), symbolized by the tea plant. The third stands for purity, symbolized by the clarity of the water and the fourth sip stands for
the silence <jaku>.