Bamboo Matcha Whisk (Chasen)


On the threshold between inside & out, alchemist's kitchen & the wild back garden, am having a wee tea-break, a much-needed breather.

Sun shining brightly, now & again temporarily obscured by passing clouds, clump of pliable black bamboo gently swaying in refreshing breeze.

Both palms cradling cup, bowl rather, or chawan itís called in Japan, I hold it up to the light, beautiful in simple elegance.

Eye glance at green surface of Matcha, whisked earlier, I glimpse an evanescent reflection, bamboo leaves in transitory dance.



Taken by surprise, sudden, split-second epiphany of sorts, timelessly intense realisation everything interconnected, all one reality, a whole seamless totality, no separation, like Indra's* net of jewels, diamonds sparkling rainbow raindrops on leaves, crystal-clear, a flash of non-verbal experience, I am a part of not apart from.

Water of raindrops on leaves. Osmosis of water into growing bamboo. Water in tea I am drinking. The water I am made of & in which my name is written. Bamboo of Matcha whisk. Bamboo of Japanese flute which would be the perfect soundtrack to this scene.

Usually racing mind with its running commentary slows to a stroll or saunter before stopping still in silence, a pregnant pause as it were. A moment of peace & quiet, not broken but enhanced by birdsong.

All at once it dawns on me, I am or seem to be this space of awareness in which these perceptions, sensations, feelings, thoughts & so on play out. Immaculate aware space where various processes take place. Call it consciousness, its contents ever-changing, churning flow of quantum foam translating into true beauty of lovely light, exquisite energy, which no words do proper justice to.

This here wordless wonder gone already as soon as thought with names and forms arose again, instantaneously overlaying verbal grid on qualia of raw phenomena, resuming & presuming ego grasps at conceptual capture, bringing me back to duality, the normal, convincing illusion of discrete, solid objects in space.

Yogic mantra So Hum so soon replaced by more habitually mundane ho-hum.


*Indian idea, I know I know but hey ho, no borders, no states, as they say, so let it be. If you insist on Japanese, maybe it was a kind of Kensho. Who knows? If so, nano to the nth degree, briefest at best, no more. Truly tiny Satori. The wee-est for sure. Anyway, a transcendent yet immanent Aha! moment. O to rest as such forever. Complete calm in a teacup before the coming storm.


(Reflection on reflection of Bamboo leaves in bowl of Matcha)





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Swansong to Duality

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Raving Reporter




Sound of Bell & Japanese Bamboo Flute (Shakuhachi)

[NB to hear embedded sound enable audio in your browser]


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