What is InclusiviTea?
InclusiviTea is a shared experience that welcomes all members of the Stanford community, recognizing the great diversity of life experience and backgrounds from which we have come together. Our tea gatherings are a chance to find a quiet moment in the often frantic pace of daily life, to encounter people and ideas outside of our usual circles. The experience is comprised of two components. First, the act of appreciation, through the observation of tea preparation and the enjoyment of its scent and flavor. Second, the act of connection, through thoughtful communication with others who share in this space. By combining these two acts, we hope to create a space within which community can emerge organically, through the shared experience of tea.
Tea (and chanoyu in particular) is steeped in a deep and rich historical tradition. A tea gathering is a setting for contemplation and conversation. Popularized in Japan by Zen Buddhist monks in the late 16th century, the tradition of chanoyu has gained an international following, building a global community of practitioners from diverse cultural backgrounds. It is through this tradition that we hope to bring people together and create a new, inclusive space here at Stanford.
How Do I Participate?
First, find an open place. Sit down next to a friendly face, and if you have brought a friend try to sit in different groups, opening yourself to a new encounter.
Observe and Enjoy.
As you observe the tea being made, experience it in every sense—the sight and sounds, the space and the reactions of those around you. When your bowl of tea is presented to you, take time to experience its scent and warmth, its texture and taste.
Listen and Engage.
Finally, engage in dialogue with the small circle in which you are seated. The tea becomes the first part of the conversation, the experience you have shared with others around you. We will provide a theme for each gathering. Listen for the ideas, memories and experiences that come to mind—leaving daily life behind and sharing in the conversation that comes together in this moment. You will emerge in the course of the conversation, perhaps in a new way!