Our Tea Journal

 

Here you will find a compilation of all the stories we have to share about our experiences with herbs, teas, the Japanese Tea Ceremony and so much more. 

Please feel free to peruse them all and don't forget to like and leave a comment. 😊



a day of Healing & Tranquility


The main mission behind Iyashi Herbs is the creation of healing spaces where ones can engage in activities which nourish the body, strengthen the mind and uplift the spirit. 

At the core of these experiences is the Japanese proverb "ichi go ichi e" which loosely translates to "once in a lifetime opportunity" in English. 




It is with this in mind that we endeavoured to create the space for Teas, Love & Harmony once again in the gardens of Harmony Farms Retreat in Kingston, Jamaica. 

Crucial to our individual and collective consciousness is the ability to gather together and create healing spaces where ones can attain solace and rest from an oftentimes tumultuous existence. 

That is what tea does: it allows us the time and space to breathe, relax and take rest from the things of this world, if only temporarily. 

For the second staging of Teas, Love & Harmony we also chose to include the soothing sounds of the Japanese koto as well as  capoeira for movement and an eclectic mix  of instruments for sound healing which enhanced the experience of iyashi

To get a taste of the experience we curated please feel free to peruse the images in our gallery below. 

As always we look forward to serving you once again. 








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One of my main missions while back in Japan has been to learn as much as I can about the history and development of traditions and overall culture of tea. So far, I've visited an organic tea farm, started tea ceremony practice lessons and also found a huge tea tree all within driving distance from where I currently live.

Additionally, I had been told about a nearby island which has a very unique and rich connection to the history of how tea came to Japan. Naturally, I had to go and see it for myself.


As the story goes,

A Zen Buddhist monk named Minnan Eisai (1141–1215), founder of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism, returned from his studies in China in 1191 (at age 51) and landed at Kibiki in Ashi-no-ura in Hirado. He brought back with him tea seeds which he initially planted on the island of Hirado, Nagasaki, Japan, and then in the mountains of Kyushu (Saga Prefecture) before moving on to Kyoto.


While in Hirado, Eisai was given a hermitage named Fushun-an to perform his zen meditation. This was the first Zen temple in Japan. It was there that he also planted the first seeds of the tea plant and introduced the process of preparing matcha, which was used in China to enhance concentration (as well as keep the monks alert and awake) during meditation.

The original Fushun-an was later renamed Senkô-ji temple in 1695 and was transferred in 1702 to the location in Kibiki where it is now situated.


Additionally, at the presumed location of the old Fushun-an, a large stone can be seen, that according to local tradition was used by Eisai himself for zazen-meditation.



Eisai succeeded in initiating the custom of tea cultivation and was also partly responsible for spreading the custom of tea drinking which has grown to become the Art of Tea today. For this reason (amongst many others) I knew I had to visit this space and witness this epic piece of Tea History myself. I am inspired by the works of Eisai and hope to do something similar one day.




Giving thanks for new discoveries,

Nadya Dee,

The Tea Lady


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One beautiful Sunday morning at the beginning of Spring I had the honour and pleasure of accompanying my Tea Ceremony teacher to an amazing traditional grass-hut tea house on a nearby island called Hirado to experience the Way of Tea in a historical and authentic atmosphere.



Kanuntei Teahouse was built in 1893 by order of the 37th head of the Matsura family, Matsura Akira (Shingetsu). It is a pure and simple sōan (grass hermitage) style tearoom based on the original ideas of tea master Sen no Rikyu. It is presently housed within the gardens of the Matsura Historical Museum and was a pleasant surprise to me the first time I stumbled upon it while on a visit during the previous Summer.



This particular Tea House specializes in the Samurai style of Tea Ceremony which I have been practicing for the past 2 years. It is extremely rustic and incorporates unpretentious building techniques of a rural farm house, made almost entirely of natural materials. The original building collapsed during a typhoon in 1987 but was carefully reconstructed in its original form.


At the Kanuntei teahouse you can enjoy a bowl of matcha tea prepared according to the Chinshin style of tea which my Tea Ceremony teacher also serves at this very Tea House atleast once a month.


Tea is served with a traditional sweets made in Hirado which changes every month.




FUN FACT: the Chinshin Style of Tea (which I practice) was founded by the 29th head of the family, Matsura Shigenobu who wrote in ‘The Origin of the Tea Ceremony’ that:


`samurai should be accomplished in both the literary and military arts and the way of the tea is a refined way to train in both. One should not aim for softness but for strength and beauty`.


While at the Tea House I took the opportunity to experience as much as I could, including entering through the nijiriguchi (narrow entrance) as well as simulating the procedure for a formal tea ceremony presentation all while asking my teacher for explanations and assistance when needed.


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to observe a full tea ceremony preparation on the day but the tea host for the day was kind enough to show us around the tea house including the ingenuity of the sliding doors which are used to lock up/ secure the tea house at the end of each day.


The grounds, atmosphere and overall simplicity of the Kanuntei Tea House are all exactly what I envision in my mind whenever I think about a traditional tea House and I will hold this image in my mind as I endeavour to recreate the tea ceremony experience in Jamaica.


Nadya Dee,

The Tea (House) Lady

Iyashi Herbs

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