The articles that were mentioned are probably in Aikido Today Magazine
July/August '03. One was an editorial, the other was the article "hot water for tea".
In the book "Ki: A Practical Guide for Westerners", William Reed discusses tea master Sen-no-Rikyu's seven principles. When his student said he already knew how to do everything mentioned, Rikyu declared that if the student could host a ceremony without losing any of these principles, he would become the student's disciple. William Reed goes on to fully describe the principles. The seven principles are:
- Make the best possible bowl of tea.
- Arrange the charcoal so that it just boils the water, without wasting heat.
- Arrange the flowers as they are, to express their true nature.
- In summer suggest coolness; in winter, warmth.
- Anticipate well, and be prepared.
- Bring an umbrella, even when the sky is clear.
- Direct your full attention to your guests.
Reflecting on this makes me think I'm a babarian. I enjoy both my tea and aikido without ceremony. To me, ceremony is the practice of making something special, that is already special.