The statement "cultivation is endless" really stood out to me this week. Often, Gunji-sensei reminds us of this fact using the metaphor of a folding fan. When your fan is folded up, you may study it closely from top to bottom and feel as though you have a profound picture of the fan's essence. However, when one small portion of the fan opens up, you quickly realize there is much you have missed, and so you begin once more to examine it from top to bottom. Then, when you are satisfied with your understanding of the fan, yet another small section of the fan opens. Realizing once more what you have missed, you begin to study. This cycle continues, and the fan continues to open bit by bit, endlessly. Similarly, when when studying tea, we often feel as though we have gone through all the steps and learned everything, only to realize that we have so much left to learn. Throughout my experience as a college student, I have felt that I was working towards a single goal: finishing my four years and graduating. But now, as I near the last few weeks of my time in college, I am realizing that the cultivation of my studies, my work, and my growth really is unlimited. Though I may be ending this current chapter, the chapters to come will lead me to more learning and growth, endlessly.

~ Itamar

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