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Wistaria Tea Culture

Heaven and Man As One, the Locus of a Centered Heart

“Ritual is the organizing principle of Heaven and Earth; Music is the harmonizing principle of Heaven and Earth.” So writes one of the five most hallowed ancient Chinese Classics, The Record of Ritual. Chinese civilization was established through agriculture, in harmony together with the greater world of nature, and the idea of “Heaven and Man as One” deeply permeated the basic strains of Chinese thought. In a tea setting, a session devoted to a “tea experience” and the delectation of tea, “Both the self and the material world are forgotten; oneself and others are at peace together.” In such a setting, “a distinctive array is set out so as to fully express the sentiment of the moment.” The tea adept spreads out a length of fabric for the setting, which would be like spreading out a length of the natural world for the people present. And within this small world where the individual and nature are undisturbed and in harmony, one seeks the sense of beauty of tea’s unadorned and genuine reality. A single leaf of tea sends forth a fragrance of the essence of sun and moon, and from a bowl of tea liquor wafts the misted vapor of rain and dew and a mountain’s soul, encircling the tea utensils, the apparel, the arranged flowers, and the tea setting’s space itself. At this moment, there is no feeling that serenity and harmony are exclusive or dear, and there is nothing that does not embody the tea adept’s taste for life and refined sense of aesthetics.

Human feelings, ritual practices, and the beauty of simplicity are three paths towards understanding tea culture.

 

Encerpt from <Life Of Tea>

Author: Sophie Lin

CEO of Wistaria Tea House