Category Archives: 14.無我茶會Sans Self Tea Gathering (Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony)-Chapter 14 Presenter’s Script for Sans Self Tea Gathering-蔡荣章Rong-tsang Tsai

無我茶會Sans Self Tea Gathering (Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony)-Chapter 14 Presenter’s Script for Sans Self Tea Gathering-蔡荣章Rong-tsang Tsai

無我茶會Sans Self Tea Gathering (Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony)-Chapter 14 Presenter’s Script for Sans Self Tea Gathering-蔡荣章Rong-tsang Tsai

《無我茶會Sans Self Tea Gathering (Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony)180條》

蔡荣章著Author:Rong-tsang Tsai

ISBN 978-957-9690-08-9,“无我茶会Sans Self Tea Gathering(Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony) 180” ,First edition: 1999.9, Second edition: 2010.9.《无我茶会180条》,1999.9第一版,2010.9第二版.台北陆羽茶艺股份有限公司.2012.05.20修订版.-English Translator : Katherine Yip,英语翻译:叶德明.

Chapter 14     Presenter’s Script for Sans Self Tea Gathering

A Sans Self Tea Gathering requires neither an event director nor master of ceremonies. However, the Organizer may assign a presenter to brief observers about the procedure and the meaning behind this unique form of tea gathering, if it is held in public. Such arrangement helps promote Sans Self Tea Gathering; it facilitates understanding of the concept, which is not to be confused with event facilitation.

Presenter’s Script for Sans Self Tea Gathering



Talking Points

1.Placing of number plates

a. Event


a. Ladies and gentlemen, we will be hosting a Sans Self Tea Gathering at __________ (time).

Please join us. During the tea gathering, our fellow brewers will be offering tea to you.

b. What is

Sans Self Tea Gathering

b. Participants of Sans Self Tea Gathering bring along their own tea wares. Seated in a circle or loop, they serve tea to fellow tea drinkers; this way, each participant enjoys tea brewed by different persons. It is essentially a form of tea gathering where everyone brews, serves and drinks tea.

 c.On-site happening

c. Seat number plates are being placed. Participants are seated in a circle or loop. Later on, they will take their places according to the numbers they have drawn. This realizes the first principle of Sans Self Tea Gathering, namely “there is no hierarchical differentiation.”

___(number) participants are attending this tea gathering; therefore, the number plates will be arranged in __(number) circles or loops.

d.Engaging the crowd

d. Ladies and gentlemen, today, each participant will be brewing four cups of tea, two of which will be served to you, our dear guests. Please stay with us. You will get to enjoy different types of tea (including those from Japan, South Korea, China ……).

e.Introducing the main and co-organizers

e. This Sans Self Tea Gathering, entitled  _________(name of tea gathering),  is held in conjunction with the _______ (occasion). It is organized by (the International Sans Self Tea Gathering Promotion Association) (and ____), and co-organized by _____. The Organizers wish to express their gratitude to the parties and individuals who have lent us their assistance and support.

2.Signing in

a. Drawing lots

a. Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, the participants are arriving. Seats are determined by random drawing; no one knows who will be next to them until they are seated. This embodies the spirit of the tea gathering whereby we accept things the way they are – there is no hierarchical differentiation.

b.Participating parties

b. Participating in today’s ____ (name of tea gathering) Sans Self Tea Gathering are (all) fellow tea drinkers from ____ (I can see participants (from Japan) coming in….) .

c. Taking the seats

c. Participants are now taking their places according to the drawn numbers; some of them are already taking out their tea ware.

d. Tea Utensils

d. Ladies and gentlemen, take a look at these tea wares, how they are wrapped and being carried about. Tea ware for Sans Self Tea Gathering should be kept simple. Hot water is stored in the participants’ thermal flasks. There are different kinds of tea ware, too, including those for (matcha). Participants are free to make their choices of tea ware and brewing methods, thus realizing the second principle of Sans Self Tea Gathering: that “there is no restriction as to the school or regional practice in brewing”

e.Tea ware appreciation and networking

e. When tea ware is laid, participants may proceed to appreciate others’ tea ware, and greet and talk to each other. This is what we called the “Tea Ware Appreciation and Networking” session. It is a good time for photos; once brewing begins, no photos are allowed. Participants may ask non-participants to take photos for them outside the circle.

If the owner is not around, or no permission is given, participants should not touch the tea ware of the others when they are appreciating it.

3.  TeaBrewing

a. When to brew tea

a. When the “Tea Ware Appreciation and Networking” session is about to end, participants will return to their seats and begin brewing. Timing is stated in the “Notification” distributed prior to the tea gathering. There is no event director or master of ceremonies at the venue; everyone follows the pre-determined schedule, just as the third principle of Sans Self Tea Gathering goes: “Everyone follows pre-agreed arrangement”. When there is no event direction at the tea gathering, people could focus on the beauty of collective rhythm. Today, I am here to explain to you what Sans Self Tea Gathering is all about. Imagine I was not here talking, the impression of the tea gathering would be much more graceful.

b. Venue clearing

b. When brewing begins, the area inside the circle or loop formation must be cleared so as not to compromise the integrity of the venue. Filming crews and photographers have to move out; if necessary, take a few snap shots and leave the area promptly.

c. Observing silence

c. No talking is allowed once brewing begins; everyone will concentrate on making tea. Participants offer tea to each other without verbal exchanges, such as  “thank you” and “have some tea, please” – a slight bow, and a smile, is enough. A peaceful and tranquil environment is conducive to an aesthetic experience and the bond between people, matters and space the tea gathering brings. This is another characteristic of Sans Self Tea Gathering, namely “Appreciating mutual-understanding and the beauty of collective rhythm”.

d. Ways of serving tea

d. Ladies and gentlemen, now you will see how tea is served. Each participant offers tea to the three fellow participants on his (left), and reserves the last cup. This way, tea is served in the same direction.  “Uni-directional flow of tea serving” is a rule of Sans Self Tea Gathering. When you serve tea to your left and receive tea from your right, you are “expecting no action of reciprocity”, which is one of the seven principles of Sans Self Tea Gathering.

e. Setting aside personal preferences

e. The four cups of tea a person drinks could be entirely different, because the choice of tealeaves is personal. Sans Self Tea Gathering wishes each person to accept and appreciate tea without letting personal preferences get in the way. Preference rules out things you don’t like, which could be something intrinsically wonderful. By rejecting, we could be depriving ourselves of the blessings in life. “Setting aside personal preferences” is the way of tea that Sans Self Tea Gathering advocates.

f. Getting better each time

f. Not all tea is masterfully brewed. There may be one or two cups that are downright bitter and astringent. When this is the case, we should ask ourselves: “Have I brewed a bad pot, too?” “Brewing a good pot” is basic. Bad brew is a disgrace to ourselves, disservice to the others, and yes, to the tea brewed. “Getting better each time” is one of the seven principles of Sans Self Tea Gathering.

g. Second cup

of tea/round of serving

g. The participants will be serving their second cup of tea to our guests. Today, you will be drinking various kinds of tea brewed by fellow tea drinkers from different places (Taiwan,…). This is indeed a gathering of friendship and goodwill. Hold on to the cup; this will be used for the fourth round of serving.

h. Third cup of tea/round of serving

h. The third cup of tea will be served with the tea pitcher; again, it will be served to the three persons on one’s left with a cup reserved for oneself.

i. Alternatives for the directional flow of tea serving

i.Tea can be served either to your left or to your right. Likewise, it is not a must to offer tea to your three immediate neighbours; alternative arrangements can be made. For example, one may be serving tea to the second, fourth and sixth fellow tea drinkers, or the first, third and fifth fellow tea drinkers next to him, on either side, as long as the arrangement is made clear in the Notification in advance.

j. A brief history of Sans Self Tea Gathering

j. Sans Self Tea Gathering was introduced in Taiwan in 1990. Today, it has won worldwide recognition. This unique form of tea gathering takes place in different countries, including China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. They take turn hosting an international Sans Self Tea Gathering at given years. This year (next year), we will be having the __th International Sans Self Tea Gathering at _______(country/place) in _______(month).  You are all welcome to join us.

k. Fourth cup of tea/round of serving

k. The fourth cup is now ready. This is dedicated to all our guests. This time, it could be a different person serving you a different kind of tea. With the Way of Tea, we are encouraged to brew for others, even strangers. This practice is certainly upheld in a Sans Self Tea Gathering.

l. Cups used by the guests

l. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy your tea. The participants will begin packing their tea ware shortly.  To avoid any inconvenience and to stay friendly to our environment, they will collect the cups they have distributed. (If the cups are given away as souvenirs, revise the script)

m. Embracing the ‘beauty of the void’

m. When the last brew has been taken, there will normally be a short session of music appreciation that demonstrates the ‘beauty of the void’ embraced during a Sans Self Tea Gathering. This is a time when participants relish the aftertaste, and refresh their memory on what has happened in the course of the gathering. The music comes on without any introduction and requires no applause. As the music fades away, participants begin collecting their tea ware and the tea gathering is coming to an end. (Revise the script if other forms of post-tea activities are arranged. Omit if no such activities are arranged.)

4. After-tea Procedures

a. Post-tea activities

a. (No explanation is required)

b. Wiping the cups

b. Before packing, wipe each used cup to avoid it being too messy when others come and collect their cups. This gesture is in line with the spirit of the Way of Tea, whereby we put others’ interests first. The tea ware will have to be washed when one is back at home.

c. Collecting the tea cups

c. After wiping the used cups, participants will proceed to collect their tea cups from other participants, (as well as tea cups from the guests, along the way). Silence is still observed.

d. Packing the tea ware

d. After the cups have been collected, pack tea ware properly.

e. Tea ware for travelling

e. Ladies and gentlemen, pay attention to these ‘travel’ tea ware used by the brewers. You may want to prepare a set similar to this, so you can enjoy tea when you are travelling or going out with your family. Note the way these items are packed: Tea cups must come with ‘cup covers’. Two of the cups are ‘hooked’ onto the teapot and bundled up with a wrapping cloth, while the other two cups are stacked with the tea pitcher and bundled up with another wrapping cloth. The idea is to proceed in a well-planned, systematic manner to the very end. There is this common saying: What has begun well must end well.

f. Service Counter

f. Ladies and gentlemen, (The Sans Self Tea Gathering Promotion Association) operates classes on the Way of Tea conducted by experienced instructors at different places. There are also classes on Sans Self Tea Gathering at fixed time and venues.  For more information, please proceed to our service counter.

g.Thank you

g. We would like to express our gratitude to ______ for providing us with ______ for the today’s Sans Self Tea Gathering. (Omit if not applicable)

h.The End

h. Ladies and gentlemen, we appreciate your feedback about this Sans Self Tea Gathering. Thank you for participating, and we look forward to brewing tea together next time.

i. Group photo

i. To commemorate this special occasion, we would like to invite all our guests to come together for a group photo.

This Sans Self Tea Gathering has come to an end. We would like to thank everyone for a wonderful time together. See you soon.