Welcome to the YeYoung Tea home page. We hope the historical and technical information we provide here ultimately facilitates your tea practice.
In his book the Chinese Art of Tea, one of the most important books on the art of tea written in the Western language, Blofeld wrote:
One should recognize that drinking tea is something in itself, to be done for its own sake and not to fulfill an ulterior purpose; for only in this way can the drinker come to “taste sunlight, wind and clouds.” This is typically a Taoist and Zen sentiment: to live is to be and do what best suits the Here and Now, not calculate or philosophize one’s state of being and actions. Tea, unlike powerful drugs or alcohol, increases rather than dulls alertness and carries with it the essence of sunlight, mist, the spirit of sparkling mountain springs and a pleasantly earthly tang. One might object that a common cabbage no less than tea is the offspring of earth and sky: true, but it does not have the special magic whereby tea mysteriously engenders empathy with nature and kinship with one’s fellow beings.
People of all sorts started daily tea drinking nearly two thousand years ago. Whether the elite or the popular style of the drinking of tea, it all essentially embodies the Taoist principle of wu wei, or non-action, or Buddhist sense the ordinary mind is the Buddha’s nature, in this case, the drinking of tea is only for the sake of drinking tea. The chattering sound of water in and out of teapot and teacups, the running sound of spring water, and the shuffling sound of bamboo in the sunset can calm all the hubbub and uproar of the world. The fact is that there is only one-way of a real life: the practice of living. The true spiritual life is only situated in the practice of living, and it must depend on something more solid than faith or belief. True spiritual life is true living, it has to be the direct apprehension and experience of reality that cannot be processed by thinking or conveyed by words, which again only lies in the moment of living itself. As we have seen from both sides, regardless of the cultural differences, the art of tea drinking is a highly poetic and spiritual practice that leads intuitively to the recognition of reality as an intimate relationship with practice of living. The art of tea drinking illuminates the trivialities of life from moment to moment, so that one grasps directly the reality through the practice of time, place, and tea and tea wares. It’s ritual and aesthetic experience can show one that life is not futile, however limited, at the same time, boundless. The heavenly and the earthly, union and departure, joy and suffering, contentment and craving, all are washed away in the drinking of tea, a teapot thus is a spiritual vessel. There is no thinking and analyzing, or rationality and reason, thus there is no logical conclusion. The bottom line is to do, practice, so why not go drink some tea!
1. John Blofield, The Chinese Art of Tea, p. 114. ↩
2. A well-known rhetoric made by Chan Master Nanyuan Puyuan (748-834). ↩