|Concubine Oolong, spring 2013|
That's how we can even let tea and religion interact. For instance, last December, for the Advent time, I made 1 Chaxi on each day leading to Christmas.
this Chabu, Yixing teapot, the bowl...
The cool weather led me to choose a higher oxidized Oolong fitting this round JuLunZhu teapot: the 2013 spring Concubine Oolong. The symbolic choice of a 'concubine' Oolong doesn't mean that I'm cheating on my wife ('honey, I don't!'), but it is a reminder of my many failings and weaknesses. Practicing tea hasn't made me a saint...
James A. Benn's book "Tea in China, a religious and cultural History" shows that already during the Tang dynasty, Buddhism played a role in spreading the consumption of tea.
this tea Pagoda poem, we can see how tea, religion and poetry came together! Making tea in a mindful way is about finding peace and harmony. At the root, this is a spiritual longing. The pleasures of tea on the palate can be a way to also bring peace to our soul. (See also my previous article about meditation and tea).
In this spiritual time of Lent, powerful tea is also a great help for my abstinence from alcohol until Easter. This was also a reason why Buddhist monks promoted tea in China, as a replacement for wine.