The Book of Tea
- By Okakura Kakuzo
Upon this long journey of mine that has been one of a tea merchant trading in loose leaf tea for profit, there has come from time to time a gentle drift into an ethereal world that on the surface is all about tea. But in fact is about much more.
Running parallel to being a tea merchant, I am also a martial artist. And as such, apart from learning how to fight, a martial artist eventually comes across the world of martial arts culture and customs, where at its centre lies tea.
In martial arts culture, tea is more than just a drink. It carries with it meanings that transcends the here and now.
So when the chance came to get hold of a copy of The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo, I jumped at the chance.
While on the surface, the book is about tea and the way of tea: Chado. It is much more than that. It is also about the higher aspects of Japanese culture like Zen, samurai and history.
Hence, for those seeking to go deeper into the refinements of Japanese culture, this is a book I would recommend as required reading whether a person drinks tea or not. Or is a martial artist or not.
Having said that, The Book of Tea is also much more. Without realising it, the book carries within it the seeds of Zen without explicitly stating it. At first unseen, its presence is felt strongest when I flick through the pages and pick up interesting tidbits.
Tidbits that seem to be there at the right moment to educate the mind with the most mundane. For in Zen, the mundane is just as equally important as the spiritual.
YOUR TEA LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE