the practice of tea
The practice of tea or “the way of tea” (cha dao) is a tradition informed by medicine, meditation, religion, politics, and many thousands of years of history. Ask 100 practitioners of tea, “What is the way of tea?”, and you will hear 100 different answers.
Stated most simply, we use tea as a tool for learning and growth. The lessons learned from tea’s cultivation, preparation, and sharing offer us much more than a beverage. The practice of tea encompasses:
studying the wisdom of nature
recognizing and appreciating beauty, especially in simple things and activities
growing in mastery and uprightness of action
building empathetic communities
and many other values to be gained from experiencing tea outside of our ordinary routines.
values of tea
The practice of tea is one of pure experience and contemplation: a practice that does not promote any one ideology or dogma. However, tea traditions the world over share certain universal values. To name a few:
We share tea for the joy of service and for the opportunity to show hospitality to all people.
We contemplate tea to deepen mindfulness, allowing us to approach all of life with greater attention and appreciation.
We enjoy tea as a bridge to nature, connecting with tea’s rich history as a healing plant medicine.
what is a tea ceremony?
A tea ceremony is an intentional time and space in which participants can practice these values in communion with one another. We gather and enjoy tea primarily in silence, with time for discussion and questions. It is a quiet place to contemplate and grow ourselves, to detach from modern anxieties and stressors, and to enjoy the company of others who share the values of tea.