Without mastery of the mind we shall never walk upright, no matter how wonderful our intentions. The mind is a strong and powerful elephant, able to serve or destroy the city equally. For that reason, our centers and schools will always be places of meditation, just as a life of tea in this tradition will include morning and evening meditation sessions, framing each day in peace and centeredness. Also, periodic retreats of longer duration should be held in the life of a tea wayfarer. Just as we need to plunge the dipper into the heal- ing waters of silence every day, we also need a deeper draught now and again to balance periods of activity with stillness, doing with being. Our minds are turbid waters, and only quiet stillness can bring the clarity we seek in a life of tea. Connection between the kettle, pot and cups is completed in their emptiness, which they all share. The emptiness in the vessel is what makes it useful, connecting it to the other vessels. Like that, all great tea comes out of the meditative mind.
You can read Bowl One here. The remaining bowls in this series will be published as follows:
Bowl Three: Humility and Gratitude; Study, Contemplation and Prayer April 15
Bowl Four: Cleanliness; Purity April 22
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
“Eight Bowls of Life” was written by Wu De and first published by Global Tea Hut February 2013. Loading image from TChing archives. Post images courtesy of Global Tea Hut. Loading image from T Ching archives.