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Tea legends — what the ancient Chinese already knew about #mindfulness

Tea legends — what the ancient Chinese already knew about #mindfulness

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There Was once a famous Chi­nese master named Zhao Zhou. People visi­ted him to seek enli­gh­ten­ment. One day two young wan­de­rers looking for wis­dom knoc­ked on Zho­u’s door. Master welco­med them into his home and asked them to sit down at a table where an old monk Was alre­ady sit­ting. „Ple­ase tell me the meaning of Bud­dha,” the first wan­de­rer asked. Zhao Zhou replied, „Drink some tea!” The second one asked, „What is truth?” and maste­r’s answer Was again „Drink some tea!” The old monk sit­ting quie­tly at the table won­de­red to him­self, „Why Master tells them to drink tea instead of answe­ring their questions?” Zhao Zhou read the monk’s mind and said to him, „You drink tea too!”

This story sym­bo­li­zes how impor­tant is tea for Chi­nese and Japa­nese cul­tu­res. It is an inte­gral part of both cul­tu­res stem­ming from Bud­dhist influ­ence. It also tells us quite sim­ply how to achieve a very #in­sta­gra­ma­tic state of mind­ful­ness. We habi­tu­ally live in the world of ideas instead of the pre­sent. We are con­stan­tly plan­ning the future or remem­be­ring the past. What Master Zhou teaches by drin­king tea is to focus on now — try­ing to be in the pre­sent. This is exac­tly how Zhou would teach you how to fight off every day’s stress. What bet­ter way is there to remain in the moment than to drink tea?

Why Tea is that impor­tant to Chi­nese and Japa­nese tra­di­tion? Both Bud­dhism and Taoism stress that a life of sim­pli­city brings great peace and har­mony. Tea is some­thing very sim­ple and sub­tle in the Eastern world domi­na­ted by strong tastes. Bud­dhist view on life is to keep it sim­ple. We may desire fame and fancy cars to make life more thril­ling, but if we relax into a more sim­ple, boring life, we often find a key to hap­pi­ness.