There’s a Zen saying: Zen and tea have the same taste. Because drinking tea has many common features and benefits with Zen practicing. It also means to drink tea with a Zen mind.
The tea can help us to breathe better, when we are drinking a cup of warm tea, the pores are opened naturally, our breathing through the nostrils depends on the breathing through the pores. The tea can help us to keep awake. For doing anything, we need a clear mind to concentrate. During Zen meditation, to keep a clear mind is most important. Only with a clear mind, can we have clear thinking and make right decision. Drinking tea can help us to relax; it is a kind of action to be done with peace and ease. This is why Zen practitioners regard Tea and Zen as good partners.
But Zen tea is far more than relaxing body and breathing, it is a way to cleanse the mind. Through all kinds of contacts during tea time, we communicate with body, things, actions and mind. In the moments of communication, there should not be any clinging to what is communicated.
When seeing the color of the tea, just know the color clearly. When hearing the sound of boiling water, just stay with the moments of the sound. When smelling the tea, just know the smell clearly. When drinking the tea, be aware of the taste objectively. When holding a cup of tea, be aware of the feeling of warm or cold. When satisfying with the taste of the tea, be aware of the feeling of happiness. When the mind is wandering away from the tea space, be aware of wandering…
The mind is always clear about the happening at the moment of now; we call it “the moment of no gap”. There’s no intention to resist against or attach to anything, we call it “the mind of no separation”. The communication of body, things, actions and mind is the communication with everything in the universe; we call it “the heart of no boundary”. Zen tea is a way of resting beyond space and time with no-self.
Let’s have a cup of tea ~ ~ ~