In Florentyna Leow’s latest book, “How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart,” she writes that “tea ceremony” is not a good translation for 茶道 (sadō). She instead opts to render it in English as “the way of tea.”

This is something that has really stuck with me. Not only because 茶 (cha, sa) means “tea” and 道 (michi, ) means “road” or “way” but also because the act is not always ceremonious.

In the most traditional form of 茶道, the idea of 和敬清寂 (wakei seijaku, lit. harmony, respect, purity and tranquility) comes up a lot: