Discussion of "The Way of Tea"


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Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Mikael » Jun 2nd, '10, 12:49

Hi Guys,

After you read the Article perhaps you'd like to share some thoughts here. What was your reaction? Do you usually drink tea unconsciously? Have you ever tried to drink tea as a Way?
Last edited by Mikael on Jun 3rd, '10, 15:19, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby rabbit » Jun 2nd, '10, 15:11

The drinking of tea for many really does seem to be about the present moment, I think Thoreau said it best (though not talking about tea) when he said: "...to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line."

It helps me to focus more than anything.

Although I do not practice Zenism, Taoism... or even true Teaism, I have always thought of living simply as an extremely rewarding way of life, how can you appreciate the vastness of life itself if you are distracted with material things and petty feelings of desire?
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Mikael » Jun 3rd, '10, 14:06

Hi Rabbit,

I really dig that Thoreau quote, very nice. Yea I mean it really is about just enjoying the cup right there and then. I'm really happy that you take your time and enjoy the whole experience, but I know many who drink it quickly while doing something else. I think that's a real shame. I think part of it stems from the whole coffee culture where we have to drink something in the morning to kick start the day, so tea is seen by some as just a caffeine-infused beverage rather than an opportunity to totally experience a simple moment of life.

I think you're spot on about obsession with material things as a distraction to life. :) How does the desire for tea differ from the petty desires that you mention? Not that I disagree with you. I'm just curious about your response.

Mikael
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby rabbit » Jun 3rd, '10, 14:44

Tea itself is simple... yes there are many complexities to it's scent, smell, appearance and even chemical composure- but when you push that aside, you have leaves... in water. Just like many things, people can make them as complex as they want, or they can just enjoy them for what they are.

So IMO the desire for tea is the desire for something simple.

Everything has a time and place, and I'm not saying that one cannot enjoy the complexities of tea, I myself enjoy them... but I also choose to spend my drinking time meditating by myself and enjoying the peace.
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Chip » Jun 3rd, '10, 14:58

In a coffee country, tea is almost eccentric, certainly different. I doubt if anyone in those Starbucks drive throughs is picking up TEA! Heh, tea should be banned from all drive throughs.

But this also shows the different mind set of the tea drinker. So much goes into the selection, preparation and enjoyment of our tea. The tea moment is thus a special time to reflect and enjoy.

To be a bit contraire, material things that were created by the hands of the tea sensitve artisan can greatly enhance an already incredible tea, such as a beautifully handmade teacup/yunomi. The right teapot can make or break a great tea ...

But the time spent focusing on the moment and the company sets tea apart the most from the hustle and bustle of this coffee society. I love the brewing of tea, possibly as much as the tea itself, the humble preparation of tea ...
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Proinsias » Jun 3rd, '10, 15:24

Where's the article?

I find I drink tea as an activity in itself less and less these days. I'm more likely to incorporate it into gardening, tidying, company or just pottering about.

I do lose myself in the making and drinking of tea but it's more fleeting moments than sitting down for 20 odd infusion of an old pu'erh and nothing else.
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby MorningEarth » Jun 4th, '10, 15:01

It is interesting that you use a photograph of Korean tea meditation but site only China and Japan as having a spiritual connection with tea.
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Mikael » Jun 4th, '10, 15:08

rabbit wrote: So IMO the desire for tea is the desire for something simple.


Chip wrote: The tea moment is thus a special time to reflect and enjoy.


Ah.. I completely agree...
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Mikael » Jun 4th, '10, 15:09

MorningEarth wrote:It is interesting that you use a photograph of Korean tea meditation but site only China and Japan as having a spiritual connection with tea.


Hey MorningEarth,

I should've mentioned Korea too, I apologize. Korea has a long Buddhist tradition so of course there are similarities in their approach to tea. Korea also has Zen as well, Seon, so everything that I said completely applies to Korea too. Thanks for pointing that out ^^

Proinsias wrote:Where's the article?


http://www.teamuse.com/article_100601.html
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Victoria » Jun 4th, '10, 16:47

Interesting the article mentions drinking tea while checking email - or might it say while reading TeaChat. :) I think that I enjoy tea in different ways at different times. Even when doing activities on the computer, I do pause and enjoy the sip, if only for a moment. Tiny moments of tranquility. Like busy times at work, there are moments of escape as I prepare and sip my tea. Or certain cold mornings - just enjoying the warmth. Or on a hot day the gulp of cold tea.

There are other times yes, when it is more "The Way". When there is time and you can devote it solely to the appreciation of every aspect as you prepare and drink the tea. Every aspect then can be fully appreciated. Still, I do not consider this any deeper experience than in the seconds, the very moment, I stop to enjoy the tea.
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Proinsias » Jun 4th, '10, 21:14

+1 to Victoria

For me it's like meditating. Spend some time doing it on its own, but integrating it is great. Taking time out to work on, and focus on, things is useful, but when that work pays off with a perfect cup of tea in the midst of other things I'm a happy chappy. I couldn't brew a great cuppa five years ago, I spent some time working on it and now I can make it almost automatically whilst talking to someone and making dinner. And can really enjoy it without taking measures to ensure I'm not disturbed.

I have no want for a tearoom in my house anymore. I want my kitchen, garden and living room to be tea friendly. I have my tea stuff dotted around the houses of friends and family.
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby Victoria » Jun 4th, '10, 21:24

Proinsias wrote:I have no want for a tearoom in my house anymore. I want my kitchen, garden and living room to be tea friendly. I have my tea stuff dotted around the houses of friends and family.


Hummm interesting. You may have a point there. I need to meditate on that. :)
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby iannon » Jun 4th, '10, 21:38

++1 Vic,
For myself as well Tea and Tea prep can be just those simple quiet moments in time. the 10 minutes in the kichen preparing my tea along with my wife and daughters and traying it up with some after dinner snacks. other times its late at night all alone when everyone else is sleep and I enjoy some quiet Tea meditation time or Tea and teachat time!
Tea so complex yet at once simple echoing what rabbit said..water and leaf..wonderful.
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Re: Discussion of "The Way of Tea"

Postby rabbit » Jun 6th, '10, 10:03

To all of you, I think that whatever method of having tea is enjoyable to you- you should revel in it! I've heard that Zen(ists) believe it is not the finishing of a task that should bring you joy, but the process leading to the finish (or the MEANS leading to an end): so in other words, having DRANK your tea will never be enough... you must keep DRINKING it! :)
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