Tea Life, Tea Mind by Urasenke Tea master Soshitsu Sen XV is one of my all time favorite books. I would have to say that I read this book at least once a year. It's a quick read but filled with a wealth of knowledge. The basic principles of tea ceremony (Chado) are wa kei sei jaku or harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. Japanese society is so heavily influenced by these four principles that you can see them everywhere you look in Japan and in Japanese culture today.
The four basic tenets of chado encompass everything you need to know about following the Way and what it means to be a martial artist at the highest level. Harmony is something you strive to create not only in yourself and everything around you but in everything that you do. Harmony is the highest goal of all the martial arts. Respect is something that we extend to not only other people and other things but to ourselves as well. Having an inner state of respect enables you become a person of character. Respect is one of the few characteristics that separates us from beasts. Purity is not a state you attain but something you work toward. In Tea Life, Tea Mind he says that when we clean we are not only ridding our surroundings of dirt and clutter but also cleansing ourselves as well. Tranquility is a state that we all strive for in life. Tranquility comes as a result of the first three principles, but to experience true tranquility this only becomes a reality when another enters into that experience. At that point, we can know if we have attained it or if we have just been merely deceiving ourselves.
This is a great book to not only survey tea ceremony but to learn more about the Way.
This book is out of print and you will have to pick it up second hand on ebay or amazon in the used section, but I wouldn't pay more than $15.00 for it.