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Past Programs

Rotary Action Groups
Speaker: Rotarian Ellen Haggerty
Apr 24, 2017

We've Stopped Trusting Institutions and Started Trusting Strangers
Speaker: Rachel Botsman
Apr 17, 2017

Facilitating Connections and Cultural Sharing in Rotary
Speaker: Judith "J" Filangeri
Apr 10, 2017

Winds of Change Continuing
Speaker: Past President Judy Taunt & Past District Governor Mel Taunt
Apr 03, 2017

2017 Veterans’ Stand Down
Speaker: Maureen McKinley
Mar 27, 2017


Program: The Japanese Way of Tea and Rotary's SERVICE ABOVE SELF


Speaker: Ryofu Pussel

Our club president Ryofu Pussel has been practicing the Japanese Way of Tea (chado) since 1992. He is a member of Tankokai (The professional association of tea teachers in the tradition of the Urasanke School of Tea, Kyoto) since 1997, and in 2003 has been bestowed his tea-name (chamei) "Sofu" from the present Grand Master Sen XVI. In 2005, Ryofu received the highest teaching license (jun-kyoju).


Program Materials:


Program Comments: 

This week comments: 132, this week visitors: 80

Matthew Merboth
14/Aug/08, 12:54am
Our Newsletter and group secretary
13/Aug/08, 11:58am
That we are all interelated and everything has meaning. We need to be respectful of all things and the Way of Tea links very well with Rotary's four way test. I have always been interested in Buddhism and these passages make me want to know even more.
Scott Burton
San Marcos Rotary Club
12/Aug/08, 5:34am
Very interesting.
Mabrie Jackson
Plano Sunrise
12/Aug/08, 12:58am
Serving others in big ways and small contributes to the overall well-being of our world. Small acts of kindness can create large ripples across our communities and in the lives of others.
Dorothy J. Schmelzeis
Cary Rotary Club
12/Aug/08, 12:39am
I learned that this particular club has a diverse membership. I especially enjoyed the program since I lived in Japan for five years and attended tea ceremonies. However, this was the most thorough explanation I ever received. Our club is the oldest club in Cary, North Carolina and is very active. Years ago it sponsored my son as a Rotary Scholar in Taiwan.
Andy Anderson
Dripping Springs, Texas
11/Aug/08, 9:35am
One of the most beautiful write ups that I have read.
09/Aug/08, 10:13am
I have recently gotten involved with Japanese Gardens. I became a member of Earl Burns Japanese Gardens on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. From there I have been visiting other gardens that have a Japanese Garden section. The tea ceremony was very interesting.
09/Aug/08, 2:16am
Service above self is a great way to work and live in the world.
08/Aug/08, 11:25am
that there are tea masters , that children learn the way of tea at age 6, suki- egoless, unconditional love, insence is the only type of sign leading to tea room, that you could connect the way of tea to rotary's service above self
07/Aug/08, 3:51pm
The history websites related to Rotary. Perhaps some of that info can be posted for "make-up" reading. I enjoyed the "restfulness and reflection" mood of the tea. I printed the calligraphy of the 4 characters of tea. Thank you
07/Aug/08, 3:39am
WOW ... what a beautiful presentation !!! A humbling experience, that transcends words ... I am left speechless, yet with a yearning to share this Japanes Way of Tea with all whose lives I touch, and whose touch mine. Thank you for caring enough about humanity to share this story ... and its way of life!! Namaste'
06/Aug/08, 3:05pm
COROLATION BETWEEN jAPENESE tEA and Rotary Service above self.Wa, Kei, Sei and Jku.
James Loftid
Rockwall Rotary
06/Aug/08, 12:11pm
we are a club by Dallas.
Martha E. Webb
Omaha North Rotary Club
06/Aug/08, 12:00pm
Beautiful sentiments, beautiful photography!
06/Aug/08, 8:59am
The tea ceremony is a cosmos.
06/Aug/08, 8:06am
Noon program in a small town outside of dallas
05/Aug/08, 11:29pm
That the Way of Tea and Rotary have much in common. What a beautiful ceremony! I thought it was interesting that incense leads the way by smell rather than a sign. I belong to Phoenix East Rotary Club, which is a great club if ever you would like to visit while in Phoenix. We meet on Thursdays at 12:00 at the Arizona Country Club. Thanks for a great program! Eileen Klecka
Robert Zimmerman
South Hilo
05/Aug/08, 5:22am
Terrific introduction into the Japanese Tea Ceremony. I saved the slides and will visit them again soon ...
Carol Abbott
Enterprise, AL
03/Aug/08, 8:54am
I have visited Japan and purchased a beautiful tea set. It was great to learn the meaning of taking tea, the Japenese Tea.
01/Aug/08, 2:37am
This reminded me of how Rotarians should act in every aspect of their lives. They shouldn't just be good Rotarians at Rotary and in their personal life, but they should use these same principals in their business life.
29/Jul/08, 5:06am
I learned about some of the meaning behind Japanese tea ceremony.
28/Jul/08, 1:24pm
I never knew what a tea ceremony was about, and I've never seen a cup of really green tea--only the green tea I get from tea bags. I liked the comparison of the principles of the tea ceremony with the principles of Rotary.
Ruth Westra
Duluth Club 25
28/Jul/08, 1:58am
Thank you. This meeting was so interesting with the information about the tea hut and experiences in Japan.
27/Jul/08, 11:26pm
This was perhaps the most interesting eclub meeting I have ever attended. I knew that the tea ceremony was intrictae, but this explanation of it, and the way it can be related to Rotary, was most informative and interesting. Thanks very much for putting on this program. Perhaps more of your members should give talks like this? I especially appreciated the fact that it took quite some time to go through this program.
Becca Smith
Cary-Kildaire in Cary, NC
24/Jul/08, 6:39am
Loved the story about The Japanese Way of Tea. I'm a 27 year old female and been in Rotary for one year. Love it. The average age of my club is around 65. These people are wonderful!
Deborah Wolfgram
Plano Metro Rotary
22/Jul/08, 6:08am
The four way test is integrated in many of the traditions of other countries as in the Japanese way of tea, the world seeks out happiness and well being of others as part of the human spirit in all of us. Our club lives by the four way test and focus's on education. We have an active membership and committed individuals.
21/Jul/08, 12:06am
Very interesting to learn more how closely we share ides across international boundries
20/Jul/08, 2:02pm
Very interesting information on the Art of Tea, and the Japanese culture. I particularly enjoyed the analogy to Rotary. The Waco Rotary is a very strong organization in our community; I am a recently joined member and excited to be involved.
Barbara Smith
rotery Club of Incline Village
20/Jul/08, 6:26am
Ilearned its a wyw to be in a rotary club if attend mettings in person wont work. I personally like meetings in person as one loses so much just meeting on line. I do understand if there is no other way but i think you maybe ought to at least attend other clubs once a month in person to keep the real fell of rotary,which included comarady as well as the service gols. my dad was a lifetime rotarin out of El paso Texas and my decessed Husband was a Rotarian thus I consider myself being involved with rotary all my life and I am 63 yrs old.
Michael Merino
Rotary Club of Orange
19/Jul/08, 2:58pm
The part of the program that best illustrated the relationship between Rotary and the Japanese Tea Ceremony was the host-guest relationship. The program pointed out that both the host and guest have responsibilities to know and respect each other in the same way that Rotarians must know each other as they apply the 4-way test.
18/Jul/08, 6:43pm
More about the background and meaning of chanoyu. Enjoyed the photos also!
16/Jul/08, 11:14am
very interesting. I knew almost nothing about this.
Chet Scheel
Rotary Club of Waco, TX
16/Jul/08, 4:29am
Japanese Tea Ceremony was interesting. Was not aware of what it was or represented before now.
Lily Berrish
Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise
15/Jul/08, 2:45pm
I so enjoyed reading the tea ceremony article....I have saved it to share. It is interesting to me that hospitality and friendship can be so communicated within an e-club. Great job!
Lisa Bennett
Rotary Club of Winter Garden, Florida
15/Jul/08, 11:08am
I reviewed information on the Japanese Tea practice and found it very informative. We are actually having a Japanese student stay in our home soon for a few weeks and are excited to know more about the culture. I'm in the Rotary Club of Winter Garden, Florida. Our club has been around for over 75 years.
Ann S. Siddall
Ferriday, LA
15/Jul/08, 2:58am
This was fascinating. I have read about tea ceremonies in books but never had the full explanation. What an experience. I was astonished at how much the concepts mirrored those of Rotary. Thank you for a perfectly enjoyable and informative program.
Scott A Sherley
Hilo Rotary Club
13/Jul/08, 9:55am
1.Is it fun? 2.Will it hurt? 3.Will they find out? I love it.......
12/Jul/08, 10:15pm
The meaning of the tea ceremony. A very informative and enjoyable program.
Suzy Robinson
11/Jul/08, 4:01am
Very interesting! I think that this was entertaining and informative. Something different. I like it.
Don Herbert
Pleasanton North Rotary
10/Jul/08, 2:07am
Interesting history about the origination of Rotay
Ron Rees
Marietta Noon Rotary
09/Jul/08, 11:09pm
I really enjoyed learning about the tea ceremony.
Mesa, Arizona
09/Jul/08, 8:51am
The practice of Tea Houses in Ja[an.
08/Jul/08, 4:17pm
I have been interested in tea since I was a child. My grandmother and I would "read" the tea leaves when I was small, and I still have her antique tea caddy. I loved learning about the Japanese way, and how spiritual it is.
Abbie Caywood
McCormick County South Carolina
08/Jul/08, 9:53am
The program on the Way of Tea relating it to Rotary's motto of "Service Above Self" and to the four-way test was especially timely for me as I am going through a period of personal turmoil right now. The personal tranquility that may be obtained through following the Way of the Tea holds great appeal.
08/Jul/08, 8:01am
The Way of Tea comparison to the 4way test is very interesting and relevant. If we only took the time.....
john molina
Chandler Horizon
08/Jul/08, 3:50am
I appreciate the understanding of the connection of our environment to our personal relationships. Of importance is the harmony we have with nature, by respecting and protecting, which spills over into the same principle with our personal relationships... and the tea is a perfect example.
07/Jul/08, 2:27pm
That was an interesting way to tie Tea and Rotary together.
07/Jul/08, 1:35am
The Japanese Way of Tea is based on the principles of harmony, respect, purity, tranquility, imperfect beauty and egoless, unconditioned loving-kindness. It is great how these can be directly connected with Rotary ideals and they are a great way to keep focus on helping others and the community.
allen Whitley
Rotary of Social Circle Georgia
06/Jul/08, 11:27pm
A good transition of leadership - point made of outgoing president "to let go of leadersip role" - good advice - hard to follow! My club is small - extremely dedicated to youth and community - hard working!
06/Jul/08, 7:22pm
Chado is a very intricate and pleasant custom. Great meeting. Thanks for sharing. Superb photos as always.
Greg Strachan
Fairhope USA
06/Jul/08, 3:25am
First part of the meeting focused on group efforts to make Rotary clubs successful, not individual efforts. Secondly, the Way of Tea sees the development of harmony and world peace as, first of all, being established and developed within oneself through continuous devoted practice. From there, it will spread over to fellow beings and all over the world, ideally affecting everyone in which it comes in contact.
05/Jul/08, 12:29pm
Thank you, Ryofu! It is wonderful to have you here in my house, for that is the feeling I get after reading and reflecting on the Way of Tea and Rotary. The richness of our different cultures represented in our eClub are indeed wonderful!
05/Jul/08, 2:45am
I agree with Ryofu that we need to give everyone a chance to enjoy the Rotary experience. I was asked to join my local Rotary Club, but I simply could not make their weekly meetings. Joe Krueger, a Rotarian for nearly 30 years told me about eRotary, and sponsored me. Here I am. Carol, love your SSA comments. Your grandchildren are precious and are very lucky to have you as their grandmother. I know you feel lucky to have them as your grandchildren. Ryofu, thank you for your matching grant. I couldn't pass up on such a great offer. Who would have thought that a few tea leaves could bring together such beauty and harmony. Thank you for sharing.
04/Jul/08, 10:41am
The history and cermony of Japenese tea cermony.
Karen Tipton
Rotary Clubof Tulsa
04/Jul/08, 4:34am
About Japanese Way of Tea
John Moore
Coppell, Texas
04/Jul/08, 1:20am
Fascinating discussion on the parallels between a centuries old ceremony and a club barely a century old. There really is nothing new in this world
03/Jul/08, 4:25am
Wa , kei, Sei, Jaku and the tea ceremony are like Rotary's four way test.
03/Jul/08, 3:33am
It was a very interesing meeting, one that related the values of Rotary to Japanese tea traditions. And, I appreciated the humor of the more cost-effective 3-way test: Is it fun? Will it hurt? Will they find out about it?
03/Jul/08, 12:29am
Tea is very calming and can bring togetherness as well as reflection.
02/Jul/08, 2:27pm
Very interesting! Many years ago I was present at a tea ceremony, but until now I did not see the connection between the values of Rotary and those expressed by the tea ceremony. It is a wonderful combination.
02/Jul/08, 9:56am
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the entire world could participate in a Japanese tea ceremony? I believe the closest we come to that is a Rotary meeting. I will probably never drop a Lipton's tea bag into a cup and pour boiling water on it again without recalling this lesson.
02/Jul/08, 6:41am
I learned more about the Japanese tea ceremony! I spent some time living in Japan and have participated in a ceremony before, so it was fun to lear more about what I experienced!
02/Jul/08, 2:46am
Very interesting and inspiring. Thanks Ryofu for a great year.
Berlin Sims
Bay Minette Rotary Club
01/Jul/08, 11:42pm
We are a small town club with an average of 30 members. We are, however, very active in community service. We have great commaradie. We sponsor the July 4th celebration for the community with fireworks with draws an attendance of a 1000 .
Many things about the Tea. Thanks a lot Ryofu. Great meeting! Ciao from Italy
Jeanie Menefee
Pauls Valley Rotary
01/Jul/08, 1:48pm
This was a beautifu, peaceful program!
01/Jul/08, 4:17am
I spent a lot of time reading Ryofu's presentation very carefully, but because of a network error, I was unable to complete the meeting. This is my second try, and it appears to be working. I thouroughly enjoyed Ryofu's presentation on THE WAY OF TEA. I wish I had known Ryofu before my three trips to Japan and my several participations in this wonderful ceremony as a guest. The connections to Rotary are very real. However, at times, I would wish that we approached matters with the egoless endeavor that I have seen here. Ryofu has done a maginificent job explaining, in simple terms, some very difficult and complex concepts. And, of course, the pictures are outstanding! I want to take this opportunity to thank Ryofu personally for his wonderful leadership, and I too am sorry we did not have more time to talk while we met in Houston. Many happy days in the future! We hope and pray that your wife experiences continued improvement. Thanks again, Ryofu! Frank Longoria
Kathy McMahon
Cortland Rotary club
01/Jul/08, 1:00am
The principles of a Japanese tea ceremony embody the principles of Rotary: seeking to bring about happiness and harmony for others (i.e. service above self).
30/Jun/08, 11:13pm
Thank you for sharing the much-needed harmony, respect, purity and tranquility we all need in our lives! And thank you for your service to Rotary!
30/Jun/08, 4:54am
6-30-2008 President Pussel’s “Japanese Way of Tea” was not only an excellent educational presentation regarding Buddhism but also regarding the global, even cosmic, principles of Rotary. Rotary is spiritual, if not denominationally religious, in that its members embrace and live by concepts of love, gratitude, and happiness for the happiness of others. I especially appreciated the concepts of “wabi sabi” (imperfect beauty) and “suki” (egoless, unconditioned loving-kindness) which hold, for the mind of the west, that acceptance and unselfish giving is a wonderful gift for the giver. Thank you, President Pussel !
29/Jun/08, 11:50pm
Great tie in for Rotary & Way of tea
Tracy Shane Kramer
Tupelo Rotary Club
29/Jun/08, 2:32pm
Very different content than what I am used to separate from the speaker. 175 members. Diverse membership.
29/Jun/08, 12:09pm
Since I never knew anything about the Way of Tea, this was all new to me. I especially like the concept of Wabi-Sabi (imperfect beauty), which strikes me as the way of the world.
29/Jun/08, 8:15am
Much knowledge about the importance of tea in Japanese culture
28/Jun/08, 1:00pm
Puts the english to shame!
27/Jun/08, 11:26pm
peace is the absence of conflict - great lessons
27/Jun/08, 12:15pm
Peace through the way of tea - I never knew! Awesome!
27/Jun/08, 5:49am
I had no idea that so much was behind the Japanese tradition of tea. i knew it was very formal, but didn't know about the harmony, etc. that was behind it all. interesting that ryofu practices this. i suppose it is alot like meditation, keeping up the traditions. intereting that he compares it to Rotary. i will have more appreciation for tea in the future!
27/Jun/08, 5:20am
Great Story, wonderful pictures.
27/Jun/08, 3:58am
That Japanese people are narural Rotarians.................
26/Jun/08, 11:50am
The Creator has truths more powerful than tea ceremonies of men who are imperfect. Men have not begun to scratch the surface of knowledge or wisdom.
26/Jun/08, 11:02am
I have been to Japan (40 years ago). This topic was interesting, and the file was really worth my time to read and reflect. I would enjoy listening to this "talk" live!. Very well done. Fayette Rotary Club of Georgia is small (42 members) but is quite active, and places well in our district every year.
keith miller
mesa west rotary
26/Jun/08, 6:26am
the rotary ideology can go a long way, but unfortunately some rotarians directions can dampen which direction it should go..
26/Jun/08, 4:06am
The program was a beautiful comparison of a human nature and nature itself. Serving green tea and the symbolism of each step was wonderful. I was very interested with the whisking of the tea. The photo of the tea made me curious of the contents. Could someone e-mail how the tea was prepared? Thank you for posting this program. I found it most enjoyable. I would loved to have been there in person. The photo gallery was great.
sissy littlefield
26/Jun/08, 1:02am
Loved the tie between the tea and Rotary We are a new club looking for harmony and how to best serve our community
Terry Howell
McKenzie Rotary Club
26/Jun/08, 12:56am
I found the information extremely interesting. It seemed to have elements of Zen Buddhism but also struck me as mirroring English Romanticism. I particularly liked the analogy between the ceremony of the Tea Room and the Rotary 4 areas of service. I attend a small club in rural nw Tennessee. The town has a liberal arts college that helps with the cultural life of the community. Our local club is active in helping the youth of our community and with helping those in need.
25/Jun/08, 11:00pm
I loved the connections between the tea ceremony and Rotary's work, and even passed it along to one of my teenage students! He's part of the group I'll be taking to Japan in a few weeks, and I think he might find some inspiration in it.
25/Jun/08, 7:23pm
Learned another Japanese art that of drinking tea. Very informative and very relevant.
25/Jun/08, 11:54am
It was very neat to see the resemblance of their culture in this area compared to the thoughts of Rotary. I really like the discipline of the Japanese culture.
25/Jun/08, 10:15am
similarities b/t Japan Way of Tea & 4-way test
25/Jun/08, 6:06am
A great program, and comparison. Congratutions Ryofu on this past year.
Carol Parker
Grand Prairie Metro Rotary
25/Jun/08, 3:26am
The way of tea is based on these principlas: harmony, respect, purity, tranquility, imperfect beauty, and egolss, unconditional loving kindness. The way of tea teached peace with ourselves which can lead to peace with the world. This relates to the Rotarian way of thinking, to bring happiness to others.
24/Jun/08, 11:37pm
Many values of Rotary
24/Jun/08, 4:06am
The Japanese Way of Tea is facinating. I will also share the "Three Way Test" with our seargent at arms I'm sure he will get a kick out of it.
24/Jun/08, 3:44am
What a wonderful way to start my day ... wiht Tea and Thee!
24/Jun/08, 3:29am
The speaker compares the ritual and symbolism of the Japanese Way of Tea (ceremonial tea service) to Rotary's Service Above Self. The elements of the Way of Tea include harmony, respect, purity, tranquility, imperfect beauty and "egoless, unconditioned loving-kindness". This custom has been observed for centuries, and is regarded as having begun with Sen Rikyu in the 16th century. Every aspect of the traditional service, which requires years to perfect, imposes a specific discipline upon the server and conveys a benefit to both server and guest. For example, "To be of service to one another induces true 'happiness'". This is the same lesson of Rotary's Service Above Self. The tea ceremony teaches the oneness of all people, of all creatures, of all matter; and it stresses the value of harmony and service to others. This too is the core message of Rotary. Excellent program.
24/Jun/08, 2:25am
The Rotary Club of Nampa (Idaho) has about 70 members. We have just completed a very successful year accomplishing several projects that help our community... such as distributing some 1,500 dictionaries to all the 3rd graders in the Nampa School District. We also support Hope House for adopted youths who do not make it in a new home. The Club as succeeded in maintaining membership numbers even though we have lost several members for a variety of reasons. The Club members are also involved at the District level having our outgoing president appointed as an assistant governor. I have also volunteered to service as the District's webmaster for a growing web site.
24/Jun/08, 1:42am
The Japanese have similar ideals to our Four Way Test !!
23/Jun/08, 11:17pm
I learned that the Way of Tea is pretty complicated, that people can work on it for decades and still feel that they have not accomplished it, and I learned that Ryoko Pussell thinks there is an important analogy to be made between his Buddhist religious practice and his Rotary involvement.
Joseph Calabro
Pascoe Vale
23/Jun/08, 2:48pm
Currently we are in the process of changeover and finalising our finals reorts, as editor of our club bulletin I am collating data and accompanying photos.
ernie montage
sierra vista
23/Jun/08, 12:58pm
about japanese tea and rotary
Wayne Purcell
Rotary Of Greater Bend
23/Jun/08, 9:20am
Interesting things in Japan. Rotary fits well with their culture
23/Jun/08, 8:17am
Ryofu .. What a wonderful parallel you have drawn between the guiding principles for the "Way of the Tea" and those of Rotary. Some thing to save for later use. Mel
23/Jun/08, 6:22am
This is a lovely program to end a Rotary year. It explains how by "being" (human being) we are at one. When "doing" (human doing) we are always in the outside world. Experiencing this tea ceremony gives us the opportunity to go inward, to become a human being where we are at one ment. The bliss experienced is the oneness we strive for. As a practicing yogi I am in wonderment with this ceremony. At this level of awareness we are all one. Thank you Ryofu for giving us this experience. Om, Shanti, Amen, Judy
23/Jun/08, 5:00am
What a beautiful time honored tradition. The patience to study and become a master is incredible. Something not seen ofter in this day. Wonderful photography.
23/Jun/08, 4:59am
It fascinatingly reminded me of my recent tour to China and the tea ceremony there ! Congratulations on your 50th meeting. My club recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
23/Jun/08, 3:38am
Ryofu, thank you so much for sharing the Japanese way of Tea. Your presentation was thought provoking and very inspirational! You are truly a tough act to follow. Warmest Wishes Always...Sissy
23/Jun/08, 1:49am
A classic program by a master. Good health to Ryofu's entire family. May their way of life be a model to all of us. Welcome to Beth Wexler, next week. Great program, great eClub. Be visible, leave comments, participate and enjoy the rewards of Rotary in the air.
23/Jun/08, 1:19am
makeup for6/24
23/Jun/08, 12:49am
What a marvelous program. Service Above Self and the Way of Tea are reflection of ideas that go through all cultures, all times. It is the way of peace, which is not the opposite of war, but another path. Peace can be found in the greatest chaos, in the most difficult times; it is something that starts within and works outward. Thank you, my friend, Ryofu. Also thank you for a year where communication was asked for within our eClub- it may have been "imperfect beauty" but it was there.
22/Jun/08, 11:49pm
Royofu, Great program! As an architect I've been somewhat familiar with the wabi sabi concept and I was very pleased to begin understanding it within the broad scope of Rotary. Thanks for the program and your service as club president.
22/Jun/08, 4:18pm
Thank you very much, everybody!