Contemplative Arts Brussels

Tenku-an for Contemplative Arts

Tenku-an is an urban retreat space for contemplative arts and meditation established by Jozef Prelis. It hosts courses in contemplative practices from the Zen tradition, mainly Ikebana and the Way of Tea, as well as meditation. Classes are kept small and teaching is personalized. Longer intensive seminars in related disciplines are also offered.
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Ikebana, the Way of Flowers as a Way of Life

Originally in Japan the art of flower arranging was practiced by Zen monks and Samurai as a spiritual discipline. Following this tradition, at Tenku-an ikebana is taught as a meditation exercise and a way of life. The forms are from the classical Ohara Ikebana School in Japan, combining respect for nature with the elegance of traditional Japanese arts.
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The Way of Tea - Chado

At Tenku-an we practice Wabi Tea in the style of Sen no Rikyu. This means the respectful relationship between host and guest is central. The making and serving of a bowl of tea is reduced to its essential elements, allowing us to be fully in the present moment. Thus each meeting becomes a unique occasion : Ichigo, ichie.
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Meditation: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

The basis for practicing any of the contemplative arts is Zazen or sitting meditation. Synchronizing body and mind helps us to open up and see things completely fresh. Only when we let go of preconceived ideas can true creativity emerge.
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Ten Ku An

Both Ten and Ku are Japanese terms of Chinese origin and come from the Daoist and Buddhist philosophical traditions.

Ten means Heaven and refers to the vision or guiding principle, and also to the first stroke in a work of art.

Ku means Sky, as open space or emptiness. These two notions are at the heart of the contemplative Zen Arts as taught at Tenku-An.

An is a Japanese suffix traditionally used for the names of retreat places dedicated to meditation and the arts, and in particular for Japanese tea houses.

Calligraphy of Ten Ku by Kobun Chino Roshi


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