Religious & Spiritual Spaces
There are a number of religious and spiritual spaces available to students at Whitman for personal and organizational use.
All Faiths Room
In the fall of 2022, the All Faiths Room was established in Reid Campus Center as an important new space for students to gather in faith. It is part of a campuswide initiative of Inclusive Excellence that aims to build community and provide a space for students of all spiritual identities. The space provides a place of worship, prayer, meditation and reflection for members of the various religious and spiritual groups on campus as well as individual students hoping to use the space on their own spiritual journey.
Reid Campus Center, Room 110
Hours and Scheduling:
Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The room can be reserved by contacting Interfaith Chaplain Adam Kirtley. Also, if the room is not in use, it is available without needing to schedule it.
Room Usage Policies:
- The room is a shared religious and spiritual space to be used for prayer, fellowship, worship, meditation and all other spiritual activities. It may be used by individuals or groups. Upon finishing using the room, please return it to the way it was found.
Chikurakken (Tea Room)
The Chikurakken is located in Olin Hall’s Asian Studies Wing (East E110) and includes displays of tea utensils and works of art from the Whitman College Davis Collection of Asian Art.
Normally open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2:30–4 p.m. when tea practices are being conducted or by appointment.
The Chikurakken or “Enjoying the Bamboo Room” was designed by architect James Stenkamp, under the oversight of Akira R. Takemoto (Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Japanese) in the Spring of 2009 and serves as the focal point for the new Asian Studies Center in the East Wing of Olin Hall (E110). The calligraphy identifying the room, was done by master calligrapher, Fujii Yoshiyasu, who resides in Seattle and has served as a mentor to Professor Takemoto and his students. The name of the tea room comes from a calligraphy scroll displayed in the study of the Japanese novelist, Natsume Sōseki 夏目漱石 (1867-1916) which reads: “Bring in some bamboo and enjoy its its cool wind and shadows.” (移竹楽清隠).
In designing the Chikurakken, Professor Takemoto remembers the aesthetic concerns of the Yabunouchi (藪内) style of tea ceremony that was started by Yabunouchi Kenchū (1536–1627). Kenchū and subsequent grand masters of the Yabunouchi family sought to bridge two important aesthetics ideas in Japan: simplicity and elegance. The Yabunouchi style of tea seeks to combine the simplicity and frugality of what people often call wabi-tea gatherings with the elegance, strength, and versatility that hallmarks the shoin-style tea gatherings of military leaders like Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436–1490). Professor Takemoto trained under the present grand master, Yabunouchi Jōchi, who resides in Kyoto and succeeds in a line that extends back thirteen generations to Kenchū in the sixteenth century. Contact Professor Takemoto if you are interested in visiting the tea room or watching a tea demonstration.
Appreciating the Art of Tea
“Tea is a religion of beauty. It can claim to be called the way of tea only when it is exalted to a religion. Until the mind is ready, we cannot hope to enter the sanctuary of Tea. Unless we have associated with things so intimately that we have purified our minds through them, it cannot be said that we really see them; to defile them is to commit a sacrilege of the spirit. We may say that if the heart is stained, we cannot enjoy divine intercourse with things. Until a utensil meets a sincere person, it cannot be called a worthy utensil.”
—Yanagi Sōetsu, The Unknown Craftsman
“The essential truth of the teaching of tea is, entering a state of contemplative peace, to seek to be active in the midst of calm. Thus, calm activity, active calm; activity and calm together became the teaching of tea.”
—Konnyo Kōzui, twenty-second abbot
Nishi Hongwanji Sect of Shin Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan
Akira R. Takemoto
Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Olin East (E114)
Welcome to the Whitman Labyrinth!
At this time the Labyrinth is unavailable. We look to re-establish the Labyrinth this spring!
Wondering what a labyrinth is?
- Labyrinth Installation Behind Marcus House Invites Thoughtful Meditation
- Labyrinth Adds Interfaith Outdoor Space to Whitman Campus
- Students Find Community in Faith