Reverence and purity facilitate a life of tea, and the communication of peace and wisdom through tea. Purity functions on all levels, from the body to the tea room, the spirit and the mind. We must respect the space and being-ness all around us, keeping our homes, and especially our tea spaces, clean and bright so that all who come within them—including the many aspects of ourselves—will find stillness here. Even a confused or cluttered mind will find peace and cleanliness here, especially if that cluttered mind is my own. cleanlinessThere is a profound peace in the practice of carefully laying out all your utensils for tea, and looking them over in a few minutes of meditation before you even begin. And like all truths, the tea session should leave no trace of itself— all should be cleaned thoroughly after the tea has been served and the guests departed. This applies equally to the inner level, as one should not carry around the dregs of previous sessions which only give rise to the comparative mind and prevent you from connecting to this moment. Wash away all traces of a tea when it is done. Clean thoroughly—internally and externally—so that your guests will know that there is but one encounter, one chance. In that way, true presence and connection have room to grow in your life and tea.

Bowl Five: Physical wellbeing; Diet and Movement April 29
Bowl Six: Healing and Community; Work and Service May 6
Bowl Seven: Connection to the Great Nature; Bowl tea May 13
Bowl Eight: Grace and Beauty; Gong fu tea May 20

Click to read Bowl OneBowl Two, Bowl Three.

“Eight Bowls of Life” was written by Wu De and first published by Global Tea Hut in February, 2013. Post image courtesy of Global Tea Hut. Loading image from T Ching archives.