Wa – Kei – Sei –Jaiku
These four words are the pure spirit and soul of the Tea Master Sen Rikyu (1522 – 1591) .
It symbolises that practitioners integrate in their tea ceremony and daily life to become a master.
It is said that only after realising Wa, Kei en Sei, and only then – Jaku can be realised.
Wa means Harmony. Which is seen as the ultimate for human beings, which is the positive interaction between the host and the guest in the tea ceremony.
It is believed that true harmony brings peace.
Kei means respect and in this context the ability to understand and accept the other. Like agree to disagree. In the tea ceremony Kei makes sure that the host thinks of the guest and the other way around. As all are equal in a tea ceremony room, everything and everybody is treated with the same respect. It is said that with a pure heart true respect can be realised.
Sei means purity as in pure of heart. This is needed to attain the beforementioned wa and kei.
Sen Rikyu’s concept of purity was the garden after it was cleaned and a few leaves from a tree fell onto the ground.
Jaku means tranquility. It can not be directly attained but only by training one on the first three; wa, kei and sei. It is said to be the highest level to ‘attain’ and also the first point of going into the life. Tranquility is said to be the silence within that gives significance to the spirit of the tea ceremony.