"Wabi invites humility. The self is negated by being absorbed in something else, as expressed by the Buddhist notion of muichibutsu, the emptiness of non-being. Because it literally means '[not having] a single thing', muichibutsu in Rikyu's time referred to wabi people who did not possess nor covet one single utensil. Muichibutsu people were thought to be free from any attachments and passion for possession, free of economic wealth and political ambitions and want of office. Rodrigues was well aware of this aspect of wabi and he spared no ink to describe it in his reports on tea:
'The purpose of the gathering is not lengthy talk but the peaceful contemplation of the things of nature; everything employed in the pastime is rustic, rough, and unrefined, just as nature made it....there is no artistry or elegance, but only natural neglect and old age.'"
From Rediscovering Rikyu: And the Beginnings of the Japanese Tea Ceremony by Herbert Plutschow
/misc | Nov 23, 2008
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