Coming from a Chinese culture and raised with Taoist traditions fused with Buddhism, I have often found the myths and rituals fascinating, and as with many Asian children who are raised in a highly westernised society, a smidgen of opprobrium would seep through me over the years with what I know now is a lack of understanding of the etymology and roots of these rituals and stories and practices.
Honouring this tradition and being in service of a ritual that has roots in the age-old practices of reverence and harmony with nature, we are called to also carry with us the silent consent that each step in the ritual must be performed with our hearts and the natural embodiment of the ease and flow of the Dao, lest it all becomes a hollow shell of a performance, devoid of love and respect. Each step in the ritual brings us back to the formlessness of the spiritual beings that we all truly are, the freedom that we all have.
Tea Ceremonies of the forgotten ages, when sages who had left behind the World of Dust would sip Tea to inspire the works of art, calligraphy and poetry that come forth from their Source, were once of no-name, no formalisation, no matter. This is the essence of Dao － the very core of it is that there can be no words or definitions to speak of it. All the sages and shamans and monks knew, when they emptied their minds the Dao flowed right through them, with Tea fluidly pouring forth the wisdom that needed to be imparted, silently, into the cups and bowls of the guests.
Despite it all, we need not be a sage or monk or shaman to experience the beautiful magic Tea Spirit imparts. Tea is innately present and human － just watch the effortless ways She has adapted to our lives throughout time and time before time. East or West or beyond in the cosmos, She is free and formless, waiting eagerly in the wings of a jade tea jar for us to alchemise Her...
ps. Do you like this new table addition to my Tea space? 🥰🙏🏻😌