I managed to get away from my work to take in the Samurai Spirit (Incense and the Samurai) lecture and demonstration at the Nichibei Kai Culture Center in San Francisco today. It was taught by Mr. Kihachiro Nishiura who is an extremely gifted presenter. He combines a true passion and in depth knowledge for the subject as well that most wonderful of talents of being able to communicate at a level for all of his audience to understand. This is the mark of the true master, one who really understands what he is talking about. Some how he manged to fit about 1500 years worth of information into about a 45 minute lecture and then proceeded to set up, prepare and direct at least 12 Koh cups. Luckily he had a fantastic group of helpers. One of the aspects of this style of incense appreciation that he pointed out was the meditative quality of “Listening to Incense” and I noticed that as he was preparing the cups that indeed he looked to be oh so centered and in the moment.
It was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend attending one if you get the chance. I know I will be on the look out for them in the future.