Tea Wisdom ~ as water is to life and champagne is to celebration, surely tea is to wisdom. Tea and its mysticism have been revered in healing rituals, royal courts, clairvoyant readings, and poetic writings since Tea was first discovered (1).
Tea wisdom instructs the warrior, mystic, shaman (2 & 3) and soothsayer (4) alike.
- A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water. ~ Chinese Proverb
- Autumn stars shine through gaps in the wall… He brews midnight tea by the light of the stove. ~ Daoist poem
- Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties. ~ Confucius
- The path to heaven passes through a teapot. ~ Ancient Proverb
In the art of brewing tea we invoke the wisdom and harmony of the elements.
Earth provides us the tea, the leaf and the teapot we pour into.
Water is the medium which infuses the leaf and extracts the goodness.
Fire heats our water releasing both the healing properties and flavour of the tea.
Air ~ steam ~ carries the fragrance and incites our taste buds.
And Spirit ~ you ~ binds all of these elements together and sends gratitude back out into the ether.
One of my favourite Zen parables
Is a story of Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, who receives an important university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured the professor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. ‘It is overfull. No more will go in!’
‘Like this cup’, Nan-in said, ‘you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?’
No other beverage invites depth and harmony in quite the same way Tea does.
Nor is there another potion equally comfortable with laughter, philosophy, secret sharing, or total silence.
Many a friend and confidante have solved their personal challenges and the problems of the world over a pot of Tea Wisdom.
So drink up, toast your tea to the Universe and may you grow ever wiser by the cup and by the day. ~ GreenWitch Tea