The Leaf is the highest of scriptures. In tea we read sutras written not in the language of man, but that of the mountain and forest, earth and air, brook, stream, sunshine and moonshine. These leaves contain vast tomes, if we but learn to speak their language. In ancient times, it was said that a leaf fell into the Divine Emperor, Shen Nong’s kettle as he sat in meditation. This legend speaks of the plant kingdom’s need to be human, to reach out and teach us of our origins. In drinking bowl tea, we return to the oldest brewing method. We seek connection to the spirit of tea, as it has been drunk these thousands of years. In leaves and water, we find simple connection to Nature and roots, reaching down into the depths of our time and evolution to find our own source. In this way, we also wash away any of the pretensions associated with expertise, not allowing our training to make us feel superior, missing our only chance at connection with Nature, others and ourselves. We drink bowl tea in the shaman’s hut, for healing and silence, wisdom and smoke—runes that hint at the Great Mystery these veins unlock.
The last post in this series will publish as follows:
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 in February, 2013. Post image courtesy of Global Tea Hut. Loading image from T Ching archives.