During the Qing dynasty, the Dragon was the symbol for the emperor. The Dragon represents more than just a very powerful, mythical animal. Very adaptable, the dragon can swim, walk and fly. And like the emperor, the dragon is a link between Earth and Heaven. He connects men with the spiritual forces.
From there, we can see a more modern interpretation of the symbolism of the Dragon: creativity! Each time we aim for doing things differently, that we innovate, that we add beauty to our daily lives, we are rising like a dragon. The Chinese dragon isn't bad or good. It's more what we do with him. But one thing is certain: dragons and creative change generate lots of energy.
Tea can be a place to start unleashing the dragon in you. This beverage is also a connection between body and mind. The water and nutrients it contains nourish the body, and its essence fulfills the mind. It can transport us in space and time (to plantations and/or our memories). Buddhist monks even find a spiritual, zen experience in drinking tea!
Brewing tea is an exercise of creativity, because it requires from us that we adapt our vessel, cups, presentation (Cha Xi) and our technique to the tea and mood we want to express.
So, my wish for this year of the Dragon is that your tea satisfy both your body and mind. And one way to do that, I think, is to be creative!
(PS: While gathering my thoughts about this article, I remembered that I received this verse from Luke 4:4 for my confirmation: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." I find this spiritual meaning nicely fitting as it shows that we need both material and spiritual energies!)
My name is Stéphane Erler. I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.